Sunday, 16 March 2014

"But how are seeds made?!"

The students have been observing, theorizing, and asking further questions about the seeds and bulbs currently planted in our classroom.  

They are on a planting frenzy!  Digging and extracting seeds from their snacks and lunches that they want to plant!  As well, they are bringing seeds from home in ziploc bags with the sole purpose to plant them!  O.S. gave us a planting kit which included soil and seeds to plant radishes, carrots, and onions.  We planted everything!

We decided to gather together and share our thoughts about all the things we had planted.

“What do you see, think, or wonder about the things we have planted?” Mrs. Ralph

“I think a pit doesn’t grow roots, but seeds do and bulbs do too!” E.S.

“What makes you say that E?” Mrs. Ralph

“Because the avocado pit is not growing roots. The bulb here is, and the seeds here, have roots too. I don’t know if it’s true, but bulbs and seeds are maybe from the same family!” E.S.

“I think an olive is a fruit and has a pit because it grows on a tree, and vegetables have to grow on a vine or a bush and they have seeds.” A.M.

“Why is a seed small and a pit big?” C.M.

“I think that seeds grow under the ground and pits grow inside the fruits or vegetables.  The pit is so small when it begins and then it gets bigger inside them.” A.M.

“I think that the avocado was big, so the seed is big.” M.P.

“A pit is small and the avocado is bigger than the seed.” K.E.

“Maybe the seeds grow under the soil and there’s a pit inside the seed and it helps the seed grow bigger.” C.D.

“I think a seed and a bulb are different because a bulb grows much bigger and a seed grows much smaller because bugs like to eat seeds not bulbs.” B.S.

“How can we know if this (avocado) is a seed or a pit?” C.M.

“Does anyone have anything to add?” Mrs. Ralph

 “I think they’re not all growing because they’re not all the same shape and size.” P.I.

“They’re different plants, so they grow differently.” A.P.

We decided to plant the radishes, carrots, and onions, leaving a few seeds behind for us to remember what they looked like.

During lunch, B.S. had the following wonder question:

“How come I can’t see any seeds in my carrot?”

“I think the seeds pop out of the green part of the carrot.” O.S.

“I think the seeds are really small.” C.D.

“Yea, I think they’re so small you can’t see them.” G.M.

“What about the onion and radish?” A.M.

“How can we find out what’s inside?” Mrs. Ralph

“We can try to cut a carrot, or radish, or onion, and we can look carefully and see.” D.S.

The following day we had a radish, an onion, and many carrots ready to be dissected!

After the radish was cut, the students observed that it contained no seeds inside.

“I think the seeds come through the roots.” W.E.

“I think the stem holds the seeds inside.” E.S.

The students also didn’t see seeds inside the carrot.

“Why do you think you don’t see any seeds inside?” Mrs. Ralph

“Maybe when they grow, they cut the stem open, that’s where the seeds are.” M.P.

“Maybe it’s magic how we get seeds?” H.S.

“Maybe they are hiding and you can’t see them because they are so tiny.” D.C.

Lastly, we cut open the onion.

“It’s like the bulb plant inside!” M.P.

“There’s lines inside.” C.D.

“I think that onions are bulbs because it looks the same like the Amaryllis we cut open.” D.S.

“You can peel layers just like the bulb plants.” A.P.

“It looks the same as the bulb when we cut it open.” W.E.

“Where did the onion seeds that we planted come from?” Mrs. Ralph

“Maybe they make them in a factory by taking pieces and putting them under a machine.” A.M.

“Maybe we got the seeds form under the soil?” I.S.

“Maybe the worms made the seeds.” A.P.

Students' theories on how seeds are made.

To further support our growing wonder questions and theories, we read a few books including “A Seed Is Sleepy” by: Dianna Hutts Aston.  

“What do you think a seed is sleepy means?” Mrs. Ralph

“In the winter, the seeds go inside the tree and sleep.” D.S.

“In the winter, when the seed is crumbly, it is sleeping.” G.B.

“It sleeps before it sprouts.” M.P.

“When you get a seed it is inside a shell. When it is in the shell it is sleeping and waiting to grow.” B.S.

“They land on the ground and go deeper to sleep and wait for spring.” E.S.

As we read on, the students noticed all the different seeds and plants that were pictured in the book.

“The seeds are different because they grow all different things.” E.H.

“I think that seeds are on top of the flower (pointing to sunflower picture in book).” A.P.

“They need to take their time to sprout.” M.P.

“How do they grow?” K.W.

“They (seeds) tell us how beautiful they are going to look and how colourful they are going to be.” I.R.

“Some seeds are secretive and hide inside pods.” A.P.

“What are pods?” Mrs. Ralph

“A pod is what protects the seed.” O.S.

“They have pods because they need protection.” A.P.

“If there are different amount of seeds, they are held in different parts of a plant.” E.H.

As we continued reading, A.P. noticed something in the book and shouted “We have this!” He ran to the light table shelf and grabbed a pod from the basket!  “This is the same one like in the book (pointing to the Indian Almond pod and seed picture)!” “The pod is split in half and it holds three seeds on each side which means it holds six seeds altogether!” A.P.

Investigating different seeds using clay.

What perfect timing! During one of our discussions, Mr. Miller came into our class holding something very interesting.  He told us he found it in the playground but had no idea what it was?  He then left it with us to investigate.

“I think we should go on a trip and find the tree in the spring when it’s green!” A.P.

Lots of excitement filled the air as observations and theories were made:

“The seeds are long so it needs to have a long pod for protection!” W.E.

“The pod protects the seed from the animals who want to eat them.” O.S.

This was a good time to introduce an iPad application called Leafsnap.  This free app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.  Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark created by the conservation organization Finding Species (

We used the map function on the app to locate our school and it generated all the surrounding trees close by. One by one we viewed each type of tree seed in hopes of discovering what Mr. Miller gave us.  As soon as we came to a tree called Catawaba and viewed its seeds, we knew we had found our match!

“We were right, the seeds are in the long pods!” E.S.

“Trees make seeds.” N.S.

“There is a seed inside a pit!” E.H.

“A pod is like a shell!” E.E.

“But how are seeds made? When the earth was first made and there were no seeds, how were they made? How did they get there? Seeds don’t magically appear! Who made the seeds first?” A.P.

Stay tuned as our wonderings grow and our knowledge blossoms!


  1. Questions, Questions - and excellent questions at that. The opening of minds is quite the task, you've succeeded Mrs. R..... Well done ! DJR

  2. A.P. had excellent questions. looking forward to have that answer....