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Plants: what is inside a seed?

Dissect a seed to find the embryonic root and shoot.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Life Cycles (2)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Life Science: Needs of Living Things (grade 1)
Life Science: Plant Growth and Changes (grade 3)
  • Large seeds e.g. broad bean seeds, soaked overnight before use
  • Paper and pencil to draw observations

Ask students what they might expect to find in a seed (maybe they have already grown plants from seeds, and so have some good guesses).
Students split open their seed and look for the plant embryo: the root, shoot, and the cotyledon where the plant gets it's food from as it germinates.


Page 10 from the resource book has a good image of the inside of a seed.

Grades tested: 
Gr 3
Gr 4
Linda Wong
Tracy Povey
Teaching site: 
General Gordon Elementary
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Gordon Elementary