Taproot at Home :: Seed Mystery Mix-N-Match Game

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Discovering Seeds: Hands-on Science for Kids

By Holly Bellebuono
Originally published in Issue 10::SEED.

For a few years, I was lucky enough to teach a hands-on science class at our local elementary school. I was asked to create a fun curriculum to introduce kids to plants, and the activities were to be shared among all age groups—kindergarten through fifth grade. I knew an experiential class was a must, and the multi-age aspect of it gave me lots of room for creativity. Two of the most popular classes that came out of the four years that I taught these activities involved seeds. The kids explored the earth’s fantastic variety of seeds from plants and learned how a plant’s seeds are dispersed into the wide, wide world.

For a few years, I was lucky enough to teach a hands-on science class at our local elementary school. I was asked to create a fun curriculum to introduce kids to plants, and the activities were to be shared among all age groups—kindergarten through fifth grade. I knew an experiential class was a must, and the multi-age aspect of it gave me lots of room for creativity. Two of the most popular classes that came out of the four years that I taught these activities involved seeds. The kids explored the Earth’s fantastic variety of seeds from plants and learned how a plant’s seeds are dispersed into the wide, wide world....Making these learning activities into a game will strengthen their desire to learn and will inspire them to discover all they can about plants and how life works in this beautiful world of ours. That’s my favorite part. This activity can be easily modified to work great in an at-home learning environment!

Seed Mystery Mix-N-Match Game

Goal: Can you match the seed to the plant it came from?

Materials

10 fruits, vegetables, flowers etc., from which you can have samples of the seed (for example, a carrot, a pumpkin, or a maple leaf)
1 sealed plastic bag of mixed seeds per team, including seeds for each of the selected plants above.
1 clipboard per team*
paper numbered 1-10
10 chairs
10 bins (boxes or paper grocery bags) hung on the back of each chair
index cards with large-printed numbers
extra box to collect empty seed bags at the end
journals, pencils

*Depending on how many kids (and adults!) are at home, you may prefer to have everyone work together as one team or in pairs. You can easily modify the instructions accordingly and it will be just as fun for all! 

Instructions

  1. Tape the smaller seeds to index cards and place all seed into a sealed plastic bag (1 bag for each team).
  2. Hang one bin on the back of each chair. In each bin, display one fruit or plant. Using the index cards, label each bin with a number.
  3. List the numbers on a sheet of paper on the clipboard. If you have 10 bins, list numbers 1-10 down the side of the page. This helps the kids organize their thoughts.
  4. At the top of the page, write the names of the plants on the chairs: pumpkin, rose, etc. This is their word-bank.
  5. Give bags of seeds and clipboards to each team.
  6. Tell the kids, “As a team, examine the seeds to make connections with the plants on the chairs. Figure out which seed goes with each plant. Beside the number that corresponds to the chair, write your guess for the name of the plant.”
  7. Give the kids a certain amount of time to mix and match. Have them drop their seed-taped card into the bag on the chair with the plant they think it matches.
  8. When all teams have finished, reveal the correct answers. Circle and discuss or have them write in journals.


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