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Do Plants Need Light?

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Tharp, MS.

Session 2: Planting Soaked Seeds

Have Materials Managers pick up 4 pots and 8 soaked seeds from a central location in the classroom. Direct each group to select a name and write it on each pot. They should number their pots “1,” “2,” “3” and “4.” 

Have groups fill their pots about 3/4 full of soil. Direct the students to make two indentations (about 1/2 cm deep) in the surface of the soil and then place one seed in each hole. Have students cover the seeds lightly with soil. When each group has four labeled pots, with two seeds in each pot, have students place their pots on trays near a bright, sunny window or under a fluorescent light. 

Over the next several days . . . 

Once the seeds sprout, have students “mark” one of the two plants in each pot by loosely tying a piece of string around its base. (This will enable students to tell the plants apart when making measurements. If one plant dies, students should continue to measure the remaining plant.) Have students measure both plants in each pot every day, or at least every other day, and record the length of the plant stems (in cm) on their Seeds and Seedlings pages. Have students water their plants every day or two with a squirt bottle. The soil should be kept moist but not wet.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932