Learning about Seeds at San Pedro Elementary!

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Because a few teachers requested it, I decided to teach the parts of a seed this week. I had emailed the teachers ahead of time asking them to have their students bring their journals to garden class.

I then proceeded to draw the parts of a seed on my own whiteboard and asked that they follow along by drawing the same diagram in their journals. I started with the embryo: I called it the camaron or shrimp of the seed because that’s what it looks like on the diagram. I explained that this was a baby plant. It does not have a stem or leaves yet so it cannot make its own food. I used this as an opportunity to segue into the endosperm: I described the endosperm as both food and support for the baby plant. “Like putting a baby in a cake,” I said. Then, lastly, we drew the seed coating.

I asked the class to help me spell out the names so they could label the parts of their diagrams. Some students really excelled in this section that had a difficult time in others. Then, on the next page, I asked them to split the page in three sections. For each section, I asked them to think of an object that performed the function of that part of the seed for us. For instance, when I asked them to think of other objects that protect us like the seed coating does they suggested a blanket, a helmet, and a coat.

Surprisingly, some students pointed out that the seed coating also serves to camouflage the seed. I think that presenting the information in this way and allowing them to think about how all these parts interact with each other helped them conceptualize something that would otherwise be very abstract. And because the students interacted with the information in different modalities they were able to be challenged and supported in many different ways.

I look forward to seeing how other students react to this lesson.

 

Rocio Prado

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