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Seed Sleuth

In this lesson, students identify vegetable families through deductive reasoning by observing and comparing their seeds



In this lesson students will:

  • Identify plant families by comparing the characteristics of their seeds

  • Learn about types of edible seeds

  • Learn about other characteristics used to identify plant families

Bliss Value

  • Discover how order is present everywhere



Place the following vegetables on individual plates:

  • Slice of pepper with seeds intact

  • Slice of ripe tomato with seeds

  • Slice of cucumber with mature seeds

  • Slice of pumpkin with seeds

  • Broccoli floweret, with flowers and seed pods if possible (or seed from a packet)

  • Kale leaf with seeds from a packet

  • Beet with leaves and seeds from a packet

  • Small chard leaf with seed from a packet

  • Edamame in pod

  • Scarlet runner bean or other dry bean in pod

A sample of the above veggies can be available at the end of the lesson

  • Place all the sample veggies on one or two plates (one set of veggies for each group of 3-4 students

  • Try to keep the veggies with seeds from packets clearly separate from each other (plastic plates with sections work great)

  • Make a copy of the Seed Sleuth worksheet for each student



In the classroom:

  • Introduce the idea of family characteristics by discussing similarities with the child's family (eye color, hair color, tall, short, etc)

  • Explain that plants are also identified by the characteristics of their family group and that today they are going to focus on the characteristic of plant seeds to determine which plants are related

  • The title of the lesson is "Seed Slueth" ask if anyone knows the word 'sleuth" and add it to their vocabulary. Most students relate to detectives and investigators.

  • Read the instructions on the worksheet together and identify all the veggies on each plate

  • After they have completed the worksheet, discuss other ways plants can be identified and add the word 'taxonomy" to their science vocabulary




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