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KS2 Science 'Life Cycles' - HOW can you teach seed germination without cress?!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Miss_Doyle, May 16, 2010.

  1. This is surely impossible!?
    I was so confident I had a great plan and they'd do really good investigations, altering variables and seeing what cress seeds need to germinate, and I had visions of marking their books in raptures, littering them with merits (and covering myself in glory, as I show that they are now absolute little whizzkids on fair test and reliability)...
    ...except: they've already done cress seeds. A lot, apparently.
    What else could there possibly be?!?!?
    Any ideas greatly appreciated x
  2. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    are you able to just use another type of seed? We use broad bean seeds and they work really well.
  3. Just use another type of seed - broad bean, sunflower or flower seeds.
  4. Really?! And you think I'll be able to stick with my original plan - let's see what happens on the window sill/in the cupboard/on the radiator/with loads of water, etc?!
    I thought I would have to find a completely different angle for it all...
  5. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    We do those type of things. If you put the some paper towels in a clear plastic cup then put the broad bean seed betweent the paper towel and edge of the cup (so it can be clearly seen) then you will be able to see it germinate.
    You can then do as you wanted - cupboard, heat, water etc.
  6. They will have done growing before, make sure they understand the difference between this and germination.
  7. Working on science subject knowledge is one of my targets...
    Err... I kind of thought 'germination' was the proper term for 'growing'!? No?!
    Please don't tell my mentor I had to ask this!!!!!
  8. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    No this is a really improtant point you need to get clear in your head. To germinate (sprout a root or shoot) seeds need water, air and warmth. To grow after germination plants need air, light, water and warmth. i.e I always like to steer my class towards finding that seeds can germinate without light but can't grow.
  9. God, I love this forum. Thanks SO much!
    This is great, I make sure we look at these variables and then they discover it for themselves...!
  10. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Courgette seeds can be spectacular to grow. They germinate in a week or so and then grow at an alarming rate. They are also satisfyingly Triffid-like which enthuses the boys no end.
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Experiment to show how warmth effects the
    germination period

    Three small pots had damp cotton wool placed
    in the base, with three bean seeds placed on each piece of cotton wool.

    The pots were placed at the following

    • <li class="style10">A warm, brightly lit window-sill,<li class="style10">a closed refrigerator<li class="style10">a warm
      dark airing cupboard.

    The seeds were inspected and watered every day.

    The time taken to germinate was recorded in each case.


    Window-sill: warmth, light and

    warm, dark cupboard: warm, no light and water

    Refrigerator: cold, no light and


    The seeds in the refrigerator took the longest to germinate (8 days)

    The seeds on the window-sill and the seeds in the
    cupboard germnated quickly (3days)

    This shows that warmth
    is necessary for germination.

    Note that the seeds in the dark cuboard DID start to
    grow. This shows us that light is not needed for germination
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    This is reinforced also when you consider that most seeds germinate underground in normal conditions.

  13. Oh, wow, this is fab, thanks. What Year was this with? And these were broad beans? Are broad bean seeds easy to come by? Haha I am suuuuuuch a pathetic townie; even stepping outside at the moment makes me behave like a person with paranoid schizophrenia, I'm sooo TERRIFIED of everything buzzing, flying, winged, multi-legged, wild, alive, etc.! xx
  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    That sounds remarkably like my current class, actually.

    You can get seeds of all kinds from most large supermarkets, most hardware shops and all garden centres.
    Good luck!
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've used adapted versions with reception to Y3


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