Science, Life Science
Grade 3- 5
Students understand that a producer is an organism that is able to produce its own food using energy from the sun.
Have students brainstorm what the word producer might mean. Ask them if they have ever heard this word used before and in what way. Make a class list of all the ideas and uses.
Show students a variety of plants. Using pictures, actual plants, or a combination of both, have students compare the plants and list what they have in common. Discuss with students what plants need in order to grow.
- Have students soak some seeds in water the night before the activity.
- Have students secure the cheesecloth or netting over the tops of their jars with rubber bands so that it droops slightly in the center.
- Ask the class to compare the seeds that have been soaked overnight with the seeds that are dry. Discuss what is happening to the seeds.
- Allow students to place a teaspoon (13 g) of seeds on top of the cheesecloth or netting. Have them carefully rinse the seeds with a small amount of water, leaving the rinse water in the bottom of the jar.
- Have students put the seeds in a dark place overnight and complete Part I of the data capture sheet.
- Every day, students should carefully rinse the seeds with water, keeping them in a dark place until the sprouts have reached 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm). Students can record their observations on their data-capture sheets by sketching what they observe in the appropriate area.
- When the sprouts have reached 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm), have students stop rinsing them and put the sprouts in a sunny place. Have students continue to observe and record the growth of the sprouts for up to ten days.
- alfalfa beans or bean sprout seeds (can be found at health food stores)
- glass or jar
- cheesecloth or fine netting
- rubber band
- data-capture sheet, one per student