Task: Collect seeds, compare them and work out how seeds are dispersed. Then design a seed that will be successfully dispersed
Resources to download :
Classroom work pre-visit
Activity: Examine packets of seeds. Compare some of the different seeds from the packets eg size and shape, and ask what kind of plant they might grow into.
Activity: Grow some seeds such as cress (in decorated egg shells) to introduce the students to the process of growing – from seed to plant.
Activity: Where do seeds come from? Have a set of seeds from a variety of fruits and dried flowers. Can the students match the seed to the fruit/flower? Good examples are: poppy heads, sunflowers, dandelion, apples, plums, melon, etc. Look at different fruits to see where the seeds are. Does a banana have a seed? Draw some seeds and their seed ‘cases’.
At the cemetery
Activity: In groups, spot different fruits and seeds around the cemetery. Collect samples of each and talk about how they are dispersed. Where possible identify plants using the identification resource sheet (see Mill Road Cemetery resources box).
Classroom work after the visit
Activity: Lay out the collection of seeds found at the cemetery. Think about the different ways that the seed are dispersed eg wind, animal, water, explosion. The students may come up with their own classifications and divisions of the seed collection. Draw or stick (using double-sided sticky tape) the seeds to Worksheet 1 or make a large classroom chart of seed dispersal.
Activity: Design your own seed so that it will be dispersed successfully. The children can work through Worksheet 2 to help them think about what will be important in seed design to help with its dispersal. Draw, label and then make the seed.
Supplementary question: How many seeds should children make for their plant to reproduce successfully? Discuss their choice of number – why do they need so few or so many?