Traveling Seeds – Background

Wandering through a meadow, a child stops by a jewelweed plant, on the lookout for its plump seed pods. As she reaches in to touch one, it suddenly bursts open and ejects a seed, startling and delighting her. This child is inadvertently helping with an important part of a plant’s life cycle, the dispersal of its seeds. Producing seeds for the next generation is only part of a plant’s job. It needs those seeds to reach a place where they can grow. Spring-loaded seed capsules, like those in jewelweed, are just one of the many fascinating seed dispersal mechanisms found in plants.

A seed is the fertilized, ripened ovule of a cone-bearing plant (gymnosperm) or a flowering plant (angiosperm). The seed contains an embryo, the tiny beginning of a new plant, and it is usually equipped with at least some nutrients for the Continue reading Traveling Seeds – Background

Traveling Seeds – Activities

FOCUS: After a plant flowers and produces fertile seeds, those seeds must still find a spot to grow. We’ll see what the inside of a seed looks like, how it holds all that is necessary for a new plant to grow, and explore outside to see the many different ways seeds move from place to place.

Introduction: Hold up a sock, pant leg, or shirt sleeve that has burs attached to it. Ask the class, “What is going on here? Why do seeds stick to our clothing?”

Objective: To use a model to learn the parts of a seed and their functions.

A seed has everything it needs to travel, like a backpacker. Tell the children that Continue reading Traveling Seeds – Activities

Traveling Seeds – Puppet Show

Travel Agents

Characters: Benjy Bear, Mitch Milkweed Seed, Claire Cranberry, Bertie Burdock, Sally Squirrel

Props: Brown pompom for burdock burr, basket of acorns prop

Benjy Bear  Gee, it’s a breezy fall morning.

Look at all this fluffy stuff in the air. Here’s a bit of fluff caught on a branch.

Mitch Milkweed  I’m not just a bit of fluff. I’m a traveling seed.

Bear  Oh I seed what you mean. But what’s all that fluffy white hair for? Continue reading Traveling Seeds – Puppet Show

Traveling Seeds – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Traveling Seeds – Standards