Fall is the perfect time of year to learn about and investigate seeds. It is during this season where plants are reaching the end of their life cycle, producing seeds to drop before winter, ensuring the next generation of plants will grow in the spring. Rather than having students look at pictures of different seeds, have them find real examples in nature! So many types of seeds can be found on a simple nature walk – in your backyard or in your favorite natural area.
- Take a nature walk. Collect seeds or items containing seeds, such as pinecones and flower heads. Try to collect from a variety of sources so that you have several to compare.
- Spread your collection out on a tray or flat surface.
- Using tweezers and magnifying glasses have students dissect the flowers, pinecones, and any other seed pods collected.
- Sort the seeds and make observations about size, color, shape, texture.
- Draw and/or write down observations in a nature journal or science notebook. Make and record observations for several different seeds for comparison. Children will begin to see how much variation there is in the seeds found in their own backyard.
- Using discussion questions below, compare and contrast the different seeds you discovered.
- What did you notice about the seeds you investigated? Size? Color? Shape? Texture? What do these characteristics tell you about the seed or plant?
- What were some differences/similarities between the seeds you found?
- Where did you find some of your seeds?
- Why can we find so many seeds during this time of year? (connect to the plant life cycle)
- What will happen to the seeds from these plants? (connect to the plant life cycle)
For more reading on the topic of seeds, check out this month’s Nature Book List, which is all about seeds!
Check out this link for a fun math/counting activity with seeds.