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Naturally Educational » 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Spring, Summer » Growing Bean Plants

Growing Bean Plants

It is that time of year when kids grow like weeds and everything is verdant, sprouting and budding.

We’ve been studying the water cycle and now we are learning about the plants the grow after the early spring showers.

Question: How do seeds become plants?

My daughter hypothesized that they need light and water and that the roots would come out first.

Materials:

  • seeds (we planted beans since they sprout so quickly)
  • glass jar (so you can observe the growth)
  • potting soil is optional; if you wish to grow plants without soil, you can use a paper towel
  • water
  • science journal & color pencils or crayons
  • bean sequencing cards

Procedure:

1. Plant your seeds and water every day until they begin to germinate. We planted some beans in soil in a narrow vase and others in a glass with just a paper towel. We covered these with plastic sandwich bags both to create a mini-greenhouse and to protect the plants from the cats.

2. Observe what happens to the seeds as the plant grows and record your observations in your science journal.

3. Print and cut out the bean sequencing cards and glue them into your science journal in order.

4. Label the parts of the plant on the sequencing cards and color in the pictures. (Note: My daughter is 4.5 and I wanted her to be able to label the parts herself so we stuck to “seed”, “root”, “stem”, and “leaf”. If you print out labels, a preschooler or kindergartner who is not yet writing can glue the labels in the proper place. Older children can write out more sophisticated terms, such as: “root system”, cotyledon, hypocotyl, seed coat, etc.”)

5. You can plant your plants outdoors in the garden and see if they produce beans!

Our Observations:

  • plants will sprout with just water and sunlight and air
  • the primary root appeared first, then the stem system, then the leaves
  • cotyledon “leaves” appeared first and then “true leaves”
  • the root system attached itself to the paper towel

Books to Continue the Learning


Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library): The lighthearted rhyming verse helps children remember important seed and plant vocabulary. This is a great book with plenty of colorful diagrams suited for a variety of levels. Parents may wish to skip stanzas with more difficult terminology for younger kids.

The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle): My children love following the tiny seed as it drifts along, finds a spot, and finally sprouts and flowers. In this book, we discover how a seed needs the right conditions to grow. A lot of the detail is fantasy rather than science but it brings a lovely message to little ones that even the tiny, late blooming seed may grow large and beautiful.

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Spring, Summer · Tags: , ,

7 Responses to "Growing Bean Plants"

  1. Lian says:

    My son just did this in school. We had extra beans so my kids threw them around the garden and watched them sprout. My son did ask “where did they get the beans?” Unfortunately my mom called the gardener and everything was cut so we didn’t find out if the plants eventually produce beans.

  2. Candace says:

    @Lian – We waited too long to transfer outside and yesterday our cats attacked them. We have extra beans, though, so I think we may plant some more outside.

  3. Shannon says:

    I didnt know about using papertowel- great tip! My two year old just started asking about plants and how they grow- so we may try this!

    ps. I didnt know you were about to “bud”! Congrats and prayers for a great delivery!

  4. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    The bean plant grew so well!. I love your books. I have never heard of the Cat in the Hat book you showcased! I hope you will link this to Read.Explore.Learn.

  5. I love that you had your daughter make a scientific hypothesis! Great ideas and books to go with the activity! :)

  6. [...] in the spring, we learned about rain and the water cycle and about the plant life cycle.  Then, once our flowers bloomed, we explored our garden. We dissected flowers, pressed flowers, [...]

  7. [...] in the spring, we learned about rain and the water cycle and about the plant life cycle.  Then, once our flowers bloomed, we explored our garden. We dissected flowers, pressed flowers, [...]

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