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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Seed Savers

Lesson Description:
In this activity students create and decorate their own seed savers.

Eco-fact: Seeds provide the world with their daily food. Everything from your breakfast cereal, to your pasta dinner all begin from seeds from different grasses. In fact, the largest seed in the world is the double coconut, measuring 1.6 feet around the middle. All coconuts have a fibrous coating with air space inside in order for them to be able to float to a new home, some have floated over 1200 miles before finding dry land!

There are many different kinds of seeds that people eat, Such as corn, wheat, oats, rice, beans, peas, sunflower, pumpkin and nuts. Some seeds are safe to eat raw, while other seeds must be cooked in some way before they can be eaten. Seeds are an excellent source of food for people all over the world.

Seeds need to germinate before they can grow into plants. seeds need water, oxygen, the right temperature, and in many cases, light to germinate. When conditions are favorable the embryo inside the seed begins to grow until it is so large that the seed coat cracks and the root tip pokes out. This ends the germination process and begins plant growth. As the plant grows and develops it produces more seed. some of the seed is used as food and some is reserved to start the growing cycle all over again.

Seed savers activity: 
  • Begin the seed savers activity by distributing packets of seeds to students. divide students into teams of three to locate information on seed packets. Teacher will point out items one at a time and have students locate each item on their own packet. the following items can be located and discussed:
    • name or kind of seed
    • name of variety
    • how much seed is in packet
    • price
    • picture of plant
    • what plant looks like
    • when it is ready to pick
    • where, when and how to plant
    • instruction for care
    • year the seed should be used
  • Now that students know what a seed packet looks like and the wealth of information it can provide, they will create their own with guidance of teacher. students will start by cutting out the seed savers supplement (or a small envelope can be used instead.)
  • Choose one plant for the whole group to do although each kid can make their own packet. Within the dotted lines, draw the name of the seed that will be inside the packet and a picture of the plant. color in the design with coloring utensils.
  • As a whole group research the details of the plant chosen by the group. Teacher may wish to list on board or chart paper the plant facts for students to copy on their packets. To the right of the dotted lines (what will be the back of the packet) students can write down information about their plant.
    • Some facts to include are:
    • the best temperature to grow the plant
    • the depth to plant it
    • germination and growth period
    • days to harvest
    • plant spacing
    • amount of light and water needed.
  • Once the seed packet has been decorated, students can fold and glue the seed packet flaps on the sides and bottom. Place the seeds inside and glue the top flap.

  • Use activity as a means to learn about various plants even if packet is not used to store seeds.
  • Older students can each choose their own plant to researh and illustrate.

  • Plant your seeds and watch them grow!
  • Make a “memory game” from pictures in seed catalogs. Two index cards will be needed for each vegetable. On one card write the name of the vegetable and on the other card glue a picture from the seed catalog. Continue this procedure with about nine more vegetables. To play the memory game spread out all cards with blank side up on floor or table. First player turns over two cards trying to match the name card with the picture card of the same vegetable. If he/she is successful they keep the cards and take another turn. If they are unsuccessful they turn the cards back over and the next player starts their turn.

Lesson Type:
  • Group Work
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Gardening

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Time Needed:
30 minutes
Materials Needed:
  • white paper or small envelope
  • seed saver template (optional)
  • packets of seeds
  • scissors
  • glue
  • pencil
  • coloring materials
  • seeds
  • chalkboard or chart paper

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