Comparing and Contrasting Watermelon and Pumpkin Seeds
Choosing the colors of broomcorn which are most desirable.
Have a variety of seed packets* available. Expired seed packets can often be obtained for free for educators from a local nursery.
A variety of paper folding methods can be used to make seed packets. You can choose to teach children to fold packets or let them discover their own way.
Allow children to make decisions about which type of seeds they'd like. In this case they are going to take seeds home, but they can just as likely do this project for the school garden.
Children count out their seeds based on how old they are. Six-year-olds, for example, each took home twelve seeds, two of each kind they chose.
Compare and contrast the seeds. Color, size, and shape differences are readily apparent between different families of seeds (e.g. lettuce and spinach). More nuanced are the differences among the same plant families (e.g. mustard greens and kale).
Have the children fold their packets, label and decorate them so they can be readily identified. Have them put them in their pockets or backpacks to take home.
Cucumber and Squash Seeds
The children were absolutely delighted and surprised by the differences between tiny herb seeds and huge squash seeds.
Wind makes this activity more challenging! As I laid out the seed packets by plant families they blew away when the wind gusted. The children chased after them and we all screamed!
Folding a Seed Packet
A busy garden table. This class also had donated folders.
A note to the school's garden teacher: "Dear Mr. Dennis, We left some seed packets. Love, Kindergarteners"
*The packets from this activity were kindly donated from a grant from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, one of my favorite gardening resources long before I got free seeds from them!
Lesson plan by Heather Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to share all materials with credit to her.