Defining the Big Hypothesis: Plants are living things. When they have what they need to make their own food - air, water and sunlight, they will b) respond to changes around them and c) grow.
Hi Parents / Educators!
In this activity, we will:
Grow a small plant from seed and observe its changes and growth over time
Observe and understand that seed will need air, sunlight, and water to stay alive and grow
Document the growth of the plant (for older children who can draw)
Equipment you need!
Digital Resources: "How do plants grow" slides and Activity Sheets
Green beans (or any seeds)
Plastic Containers x 2
Black Construction Paper
This is the classic experiment of observing how a plant grows from a seed! Introduce what plants are through a picture book or a video. Here's one from Dr Binocs!
Plants are living things and they will need air, water and sunlight to grow.
We will conduct a simple experiment to examine if this is true. Explain to the children that we will need to put the seeds into 2 different settings, 1 with air, water, and sunlight and the other without.
Put a couple of pieces of the cotton pad into 2 plastic containers respectively.
Add some water to only 1 of the containers while keeping the others dry. Do not add too much water, just enough to keep the cotton pad moist. Label the containers.
Add in the green beans (just 1 or 2 in each cup) or a choice of seeds. You can choose to start with seeds like spinach (Kang Kong) which are easier to grow. Add a dark lid (Use black construction paper) over the container with dry cotton pads.
Keep both containers in a safe place with ample sunlight.
Observe how the beans/seeds change over a course of 8-10 days. Record down the observations in the Plant Growth Diary!
*For younger children, they can measure the height of the growing plant using non-standard units while the older children can measure it with a ruler in cm or inches.
*For this experiment, we have not added any controls. For older children, you can do similar experiments by adding controls and only changing 1 variable each time.
Record the observations in the Plant Growth Diary and discuss how the beans/seeds have changed over the course of 8 to 10 days. Here are some topics you can discuss with your explorers:
Did the beans/seeds in both containers grow?
Why didn’t the beans/seeds in the container with dry cotton pad and dark environment grow? (No water, no sunlight, insufficient air)
How did the plant grow? How different does it look compared to when it was just a bean/seed? What new parts have grown?
What happened to the growing plant after a while? Due to the lack of nutrients that traditionally comes from the soil, the baby plant might start to wither even if we continue to give it water, air, and sunlight as it is not making enough food for itself.
Recap what we have learned by completing the Conclusion sheet!
P.S. The learning objectives are aligned with international standards such as NGSS and Singapore MOE Science Curriculum.
Check out other Plants activities here:
Introduction to Plants Part 1
Introduction to Leaves Part 1