Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This activity will help students discover how to harvest, clean, store and propagate seeds from the garden. 

Learning goals:

  • identify and describe the structure of seeds 
  • discover the role of seeds in plant life cycles 
  • harvest, clean, store and propagate seeds from the garden 
  • recognise simple patterns in data and describe their conclusions.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum Content description

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS103)

Syllabus outcomesST3-4WS, ST3-10LW, ST3-11LW.

Topic: Biodiversity

Time required: Six tasks; 60 minutes each.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High

Resources required: Plants with seeds ready to harvest, coloured wool, markers, paper bags.

Digital tech opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities

There’s an app for that: The Garden Planner - A personal trainer for Australian vegetable gardeners. You’ll know what to plant when, what to do today, what’s going to happen tomorrow, and when you will be harvesting food you grew yourself. 

Key words: Seeds, harvest, seasons, planting, adaptations

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Adapted from LandLearn: Learning in the Garden

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Saving seeds with your students is a fun and rewarding activity that will enable your vegetable garden to be established, re-planted or maintained relatively cheaply and will allow students to explore the role of seeds in plant life cycles. Students will be asked to follow the life-cycle of seeds from initial observation to propagation. 

Teacher content information

In this activity students will undertake six tasks:

  • observing plants 
  • selecting seeds to harvest 
  • harvesting seeds 
  • drying, cleaning and storing seeds 
  • propagating seeds 
  • reporting.

Seeds can be saved for use in the following year or shared with others. Seeds from annual plants are ideal to collect as they complete their life cycle (from seed to seed) in one year. 
The best time to collect seed from most plants is late autumn (depending on the plant and its lifecycle), and the best time to plant is in spring or 
late term 3 and early term 4 after the most severe 
f

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Student Worksheet

dry-wheat-heroThought starters: What does a seed need to grow?

You will undertake six tasks:

  • observing plants 
  • selecting seeds to harvest 
  • harvesting seeds 
  • drying, cleaning and storing seeds 
  • propagating seeds 
  • reporting.

Step 1. Observing plants

Long before they appear, plants provide clues about the coming seeds through their flower development. Carefully observe flowers in the garden. This is best done in spring and early summer when the most number of plants will be flowering.

Answer the following questions:
- Where do you think seeds will be produced on each plant? 

- What clues or signs of potential seed development do you notice?


Step 2. Selecting seeds to harvest

Identify plants that you think are ready to be harvested for their seeds. Discuss as a class how you will decide from which plants to collect seeds.

Think like gardeners do! Discuss which plants have qualities you value and which will have their seeds chosen for replanting. For example, does one tomato plant pr

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