Life Cycle - Plants (5B)
Post Lab 

  • Discovering how seeds are dispersed.
  • Finding seeds in a play yard.
  • dispersal
  • reproduction
  • old socks
  • pans


Students make a sock garden.


Seeds are a major form of plant reproduction and they have many ways of spreading themselves beyond the area of the mother plant. Dandelion, maple and pine seeds are carried by the wind, coconuts are carried by water, and foxtails and burrs are carried on animal coats and people's clothing. Some seeds, like those of berries, can pass through an animal or bird intact and be spread in droppings. Some pine cones will only open after a fire, ensuring the reseeding of a forest.

Seeds that we eat include nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame and poppy seeds and coconuts. The part of the coconut that we eat is a seed, one of the biggest in the world.


You may want the students to do this at home and bring in the sprouting socks.

  1. Instruct students to bring in an old sock to school or you may want them to do this at home. Take the students out to a field or play yard that is overgrown and not mowed. Have them slip the socks over their shoes and run around. They will pick up burrs, foxtails and a number of other seeds. Make sure they understand that this is how some seeds travel.
  2. Wet one entire sock, place it in a cake pan placed on a slant. Fill the lower part of the pan with water and place the tip of the sock in it. This will keep the sock wet, but should prevent mold. Place the pan in a warm place and watch the seeds sprout.
  3. You may want to pull off some of the seeds before you get them wet. You may need to put some of the seeds in a freezer or refrigerator for two weeks to simulate winter. Then try planting them. Some seeds need to pass through a cold period before they will sprout.

    This illustrates to the students that seeds are all over the place, just ready to grow when given the right environment.

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