What is Germination?

Sunflower seedlings, just three days after ger...
Sunflower seedlings, just three days after germination (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read a poem, watch a video, and create a seed germinator to watch germination taking place in the classroom!  This lesson is probably most appropriate for grades k-2.

Begin by asking students, “Are these seeds sitting on the desk alive?”  After listening to students’ thoughts, discuss how the seeds are alive, but waiting to grow.  Introduce the term dormant.


1)    Read the poem, The Little Plant.  Discuss when the seed is dormant in the poem.

The Little Plant

In the heart of a seed
Buried deep, as deep
A dear little plant
Lay fast asleep.

“Wake!” said the sunshine
And speak to the Light
“Wake!” said the voice
Of the raindrops bright

The little plant heard
And it rose to see
How wonderful the outside
World might be!

2)  Show a time lapsed video of a seed germinating and  introduce the terms germination (just begins to grow) and sprout (a little baby plant).

video 1 

video 2

3)  As a class, act out seeds growing into sprouts. Curl up into a ball to be a seed, then extend your legs sideways to become roots, next send your arms up to become a sprout, and gradually stand up and let arms go to the side to become the leaves of a full grown plant.

4)    Next, students will pair up.  They will work on sequencing picture cards of a germinating seed and labeling which part of the sequence is dormant and which part is the sprout.  I like these free cards.

5)  When finished, students will create a “germinator” bag. First, moisten a paper towel with a bit of water.  Place moist paper towel into bottom of baggie and the staple a line of staples across the baggie above the paper towel.  Place bean seeds (I usually just purchase a big bag of dried beans from the grocery store–it shouldn’t cost more than about $2) inside (beans should be resting on the staples) and tape baggies to a sunny window.  Observe bags daily to watch the seeds germinate.  Observations should be recorded in Plant Journals.  After several days, you may want to transfer seedlings into dirt.

6)   Class will reconvene for summary discussion and questions.  Exit cards:  Define germination, dormant, and sprout.


One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s