Let's Go for a Seed Walk

Explore Seed Dispersion

 

Take your class on a walk to find seeds around your school and bring them back to look at under the microscopes. Students will sort seeds according to how they are dispersed in nature and can then glue them to their worksheet.

"This grass seed has spikes all over it! It looks so scary under the microscope!"  

                                                  G2 student quote after doing this lab

Watch Class Movie

teacher Prep

Lab sheet & activites

Class Movie

Lab Prep Movie

Lab Activity

Lab Assistant 

Lab Materials:

- 1 Tobey Tweezers per child

- 1 Maggie Magnifying Glass per child

- 1 collecting baggie or test tube per child

- 1 microscope per child

-  White school glue

Running the Lab Activity: 

1. Take the students on a walk around the school grounds to collect seeds.

2. Bring the seeds back to the classroom to examine under the microscope.

3. Students will sort the seeds using the student lab sheet according to how the seeds are dispersed (wind, water, animals, popping) and glue them to their worksheet.

Seeds can move far away from their parent plants

This is how they do it...

Wind Dispersion

Wind spreads seeds very well. Some seeds can even fly! Can you believe it?

Dandelion seeds are so small and light that their "parachute" can help them fly in the wind.  

Maple seed helicopters fall near the parent tree and can then blow across the ground.

Animal Dispersion

Animals spread seeds very well.  Some birds can cary seeds hundreds of miles! 

Edible seeds can survive after being eaten by birds and are spread far away in the birds' droppings.

Burrs tangle and stick in animals' fur and eventually come out far from their parent plants.

Puncture weed has sharp spikes that help it stick onto animals (and sometimes even your shoes) to be carried.

Exploding and shooting seeds

Exploding and shooting seeds

Floating seeds

Many wild flowers with tiny seeds such as California poppies have seed pods that pop and shoot their seeds.

Look for seed pods with curled ends to find popping pods.  When you find the right plant try tapping a dry pod that hasn't popped yet.  It may pop for you!

Many plants that grow near water have seeds that float and can be spread by rivers, oceans, and lakes. Coconuts can float across the oceans and grow when they reach land.

Check to see if some of your seeds float or sink in Tedros Test Tube

 

In Class Movie

Class Movie - Watch this movie with your class to start the lab

Teacher Movie - Watch this movie before you teach this lab

Teacher Movie