Adventures in First Grade

Friday, March 30, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow...Without Soil?!

I think that is it so important for my kiddos to see the life cycle of a plant.   So, we planted seeds in a couple of different ways.

First, we "planted" lima bean seeds on a wet paper towel.  I told my firsties that the seeds that they were planting had been in a bag in my file cabinet for ten years (They were impressed, I felt old).  We decided that they had not sprouted because they had never had any water.  Some of my teaching buddies put their baggies of seeds in their classroom windows.  In my entire teaching career, I've never had a window, but the seeds always sprout.  I put the bags of seeds on the bulletin board closest to natural light.

The second way I show how seeds sprout I learned from my cooperative teacher when I did my student teaching in a first grade classroom.  Take a clear punch style cup and line it with a paper towel. Then fill the paper towel with soil.  Finally, put several popcorn seeds on the OUTSIDE of the paper towel (between the paper towel and cup).  The nutrients from the soil will soak through the paper towel.

When I taught third grade, I would have one cup with potting soil, one with clay soil, and one with sandy soil.  We would make predictions about which type of soil would grow the strongest, healthiest plants.

A week or so ago, I POSTED about my root viewer that I bought from Bass Pro Shop.  Check out our green thumbs!

On a personal note, I plan on planting lettuce, onion, and garlic in my own garden this weekend.  I can't wait!

Happy, happy Friday!


  1. I'll be doing this next week. I usually do the grass seed hair but I grow more mold than grass seed. My fingers are crossed that my lima beans sprout without sunlight. Thanks for posting pictures!

    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  2. I really like the root viewer. Is that what that bottom picture is?
    Thanks for sharing.

    Grade ONEderful

  3. I have never done any of that. :) Ha! I just get those clear cups, the kids scoop soil out a big bag that I bring, and we shove four to five seeds in it. They always grow. Green bean seeds work best for me!! :) We have a garden in our backyard, too, and we need to get on it!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. Love this! We are doing plants in April, just in time!

    First in Maine