Seeds and Sprouts Lesson Plan
Sprouts are an easy to grow food source that is an inexpensive and simple way to provide fresh greens and their nutrients in the winter months or all year round. Growing sprouts can also be used to help students understand how plants are propagated from seeds, the structure of plants and seeds, and the diversity of flavors in different plant parts.
One day without growing sprouts
One week with growing sprouts
For each group of students or individual students:
- One or two dry beans,
- larger beans are best, be sure to have extra as some students will mangle theirs.
- Seedling, seed and plant life cycle, diagrams and worksheets,
- The Home School Clip Art site has many good work sheets at different grade levels
- Wide mouth quart jar with sprouting lid or any jar with cheese cloth, piece of cotton gauze, fine mesh nylon net, or pantyhose top or any clean, durable fabric and rubber bands and a bowl or a way to prop the jar up to drain.
- Sprouting seeds (not just any seed, make sure they are certified sprouting seeds to avoid contaminated or treated seeds. Some suppliers listed in bibliography.
- Hydrogen peroxide for decontaminating the seeds if you plan on eating the sprouts or you can use the sprouts in baked goods or soups simmered for at least 15 minutes after the sprouts are added.
- Bleach for sterilizing the jars and other materials.
Goal and Outcomes:
Alaska Science Standard C.2: A student should develop an understanding of the structure, function, behavior, development, life cycles, and diversity of living organisms.
Students will describe seed and seedling structure and the life cycle of plants.
Alaska Healthy Life Standard A.2 in part: A student should understand how the human body is affected by behaviors related to eating habits.
Students will explain the benefits of eating fresh greens and sprouts.
Step by Step guide to teaching the lesson
Day 1: What is a seed?
Preparation: Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover.
- One definition is a seed is a baby plant in its lunch box. The baby plant can be seen in beans that have been soaked and split open.
- Students can see the baby plant (embryo) attached to the cotyledons which are the food.
- The seed coat is the container or lunch box.
- One way to demonstrate this is to soak beans overnight and have the students dissect them (lima beans are best for small children as they are larger).
- Have the students split the beans label a diagram of a seed.
- There is a nice diagram on the Teachers Pay Teachers site.
As an introduction or as the sprouts are growing is a good time to present lessons on healthy eating and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. An example is It is fun to Eat Fruits and Veggies.
Day 2 until sprouts are ready to eat: Growing Sprouts
Preparation: You will need a tablespoon of seed for each sprouting jar and the seeds should be decontaminated according to the instructions in Growing Seed Sprouts at Home.
- Prepare lukewarm water, enough to fill each jar about half full.
- Add seeds to the sprouting jar, a scant tablespoon is enough.
- Fill jar about half full of lukewarm water. Place in a warm area of the room where they will be undisturbed for six hours or overnight.
- The next step is to drain the soaking water and rinse with cool water by adding water to the jar through the soaking cover.
- Drain the rinse water and prop the sprouting jar(s) so that the lid is down and the water can drain out.
- A bowl that allows the jar to slant, a dish drainer or a rack of some kind works for this. Make sure the jars drain well to prevent souring.
- Rinse and drain twice a day until sprouts have reached the desired length.
- Remove sprouts from jar and rinse well before using.
- There are many recipes online which use sprouts.
Sprout Food Safety
Food Safety for growing sprouts at home
I recommend buying a good book on growing sprouts before you start. This one seems to be fairly good and easy to get.
The Jar Sprouter on Amazon:
Sprout Screen on Amazon:
Basic Sprouting Guide:
The Benefits of Sprouts and Micro-greens
Work Sheet from Home School Clip Art
Techers Pay Teachers
The Sprouting Popularity of Sprouted Grains