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Science - 1st Grade
1 class periods of 30 minutes each
Students collect seeds from field plants as part of understanding seed dispersal.
For the teacher:
A few days prior to the lesson, ask students to bring an extra sock from home--preferable one of their parents'. Men's athletic tube socks work well. Have an extra supply of socks available for students who do not have or bring socks.
1. Show students the dandelion that has gone to seed. Most of them will be familiar with this plant and will have, at some point in their lives, blown the seeds from the stem. Ask a variety of questions about the dandelion:
2. Discuss with the children that just as the seeds fly from the plant when we blow on them, the wind also can blow the seeds into the air. This process results in dandelion plants growing in new places and is known as seed dispersal. Wind is one way seeds are dispersed.
3. Tell students that animals are also involved in seed dispersal. Ask, "How would animals help seeds get from one place to another?" Let students brainstorm ideas. Tell students they are going to do an activity that will help them see one way in which animals are involved in seed dispersal.
4. Ask students to think of animals that might walk through fields in your neighborhood. (Most common will be dogs, cats, squirrels, mice, birds, etc.) Tell students that they will pretend to be one of these animals. Distribute socks. Have each student wear one sock over his or her shoe. Go on a walk through weedy fields, encouraging students to walk over and through many types of plants as animals would. Have students remove socks and return to the classroom.
5. Let students observe the different types of seeds collected on their socks. Talk about the features of the seeds that help them attach to the socks. Lead a discussion about animals and seed dispersal. Ask questions such as:
Write and illustrate stories about seeds, including where they were "born", how they got carried away, where they landed, how they grew, what type of plant they became, etc.
Try growing the seeds the students brought in on their socks.
Ask students to:
1. Draw and describe two different seeds from their socks.
2. Draw a picture describing how seeds can get from one place to another.
Use all or part of the Journal Rubric as an assessment tool.
Students could also act out a seed being dispersed and planted.