Seed Sorting and Planting
Seed Storage
Place of Learning: 
Grade Level: 
This lesson gets students to practice sorting, organizing, and making lists while in the natural environment. It introduces the idea that we eat seeds, and we also use them to make other plants, thus more seeds.
Student Learning Goals & Objectives: 

Students will:

  • Plant seeds using measuring tools.
  • Describe seeds using the five senses.
  • Compare the color, shape, sound it makes when shook, and texture of a variety of seeds.
  • Sort seeds according to likeness.
Materials & Prep: 
  • Egg cartons with color coded egg shells, one for browns, greens, etc.
  • Glue
  • Seeds (coconuts, bean pods, etc)
  • 6 pack seed containers
  • Bucket of soil and tarp or floor paper
  • Rulers


Procedure Steps: 
  1. Prepare a basket of bean and seed samples (coconuts, beans, poppy seeds, etc.).
  2. Cut egg cartons in half (so there are six holes). Mark the sides of egg cartons (brown for wood, green for leaves, etc.).
Looking at Seeds
  1. Prompt students to use all five senses to explore seeds.
    • Students listen to the seeds while shaking them, feel their shapes and textures, and notice their colors and shapes.
    • Prompt students to share what they have observed about the seeds in the basket.
    • Read a book about seeds and germination. Emphasize that seeds, like us, need natural resources to grow.
Planting Seeds
  1. Students line up to plant a seed in the soil.
  2. Demonstrate how to use a ruler to identify the distance between seeds and how deep to plant their seeds.
  3. Ask:
    • How far apart do we need to plant the seed?
    • How deep in the soil do we need to plant the seed?
    • What do seeds need to grow?
    • What will happen to these seeds when you come out to the garden next time?
Sorting Seeds
  1. Distribute egg cartons for students to collect things that are brown, green, round, etc.
  2. Students identify the different shapes and colors of seeds or garden life and sort them in the right egg shells, according to the color or label (for kindergarten and above) on each.
Worm through the Apple (Optional physical activity if time allows)
  1. Students stand in a straight line with their feet apart. The child at the end is the “worm.” They crawl through the “apples” (other children spread their feet and legs so the “worm” can crawl through). When the “worm” reaches the front of the apple line, the next person in line becomes the “worm.”
  2. Cut open four to five apples and count the number of seeds total.
  3. Ask:
    • Does each apple have the same amount of seeds?
    • Which has more? Less?
    • What part of the apple does the worm eat?
  4. Make a list of the different kinds of apples.
Planting Seeds (Indoor activity)
  1. Show students the bin of amended soil. Invite them to feel it using their five senses.
  2. Demonstrate how to fill 6 plant start packs with soil, poke a hole in the center of each pack with a finger, place a seed in each hole, and then cover with more soil.
  3. Ask:
    • What is a seed?
    • What is a seed used for?
  4. Take seed packs outside, if possible. Have students water the seeds with watering cans, allowing each to take a turn.
  5. Ask:
    • What will happen to your seed when you see it next?
    • How will you take care of it so it grows up big and strong?
Student Reflection
  1. What did you find today? What color was it? What shape was it?
English Language Learning (ELL) Focus: Adjective Placement
  • I see brown seeds.
  • I found red flowers.
  • I saw long sticks.

Academic Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts


Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence to support an explanation.

Structure and Function

The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s). Substructures have shapes and parts that serve functions.

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Relative scales allow objects and events to be compared and described (e.g., bigger and smaller; hotter and colder; faster and slower). Standard units are used to measure length. Natural objects and/or observable phenomena exist from the very small to the immensely large or from very short to very long time periods.

Disciplinary Core Ideas


Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Plants depend on water and light to grow. Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around. Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil.


Growth and Development of Organisms: Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

Science & Engineering Practices

Planning & Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations in 6-8 builds on K-5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or solutions. Conduct an investigation to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meets the goals of an investigation. Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution. Test two different models of the same proposed object, tool, or process to determine which better meets criteria for success