Lesson 2 Prep

Legumes: Seeds that grow in a pod

The "bean sprout in a baggie" activity is a classic, but I want to try and make it a little more interesting by using more than one kind of bean. I'm hoping that we'll can see differences in the growth habits and rate. Once again I'm doing a test run a week early. If things don't work out as hoped, I'll still have time to prepare my another lesson as a substitute.

After a quick rummage through my seed collection I came up with a few interesting legume types to try. I may also pick up some lima beans or lentils. Some of these seeds are almost 3 years old so they'll need soaking, probably overnight.

The next day I put the rehydrated beans in the baggies with damp paper towel and left them on my radiator cabinet under the full-spectrum sun lamp (I don't really have any good sunny windows)

24 hours later, one pea has a substantial root, and the favas have a little bit of sprout action. After 5 days on the radiator, the fava beans are the most impressive. These will definitely make it into the lesson. (I also over-bought fava seed last year so I've got plenty)

A taylor bean, a pea, and a big white bean also sprouted. The yellow eye beans and the soy beans showed no response but beans that don't sprout can also be a "teachable moment". gag. that phrase.

For bean dissection, the favas are too hard to break apart but the others are kind of small for first and second grade fine motor skills. I think I'll pick up some lima beans for that activity.

One challenge with this class is that we only meet once a week, and I don't expect 1st and 2nd graders to take something home and remember bring it back the next week. I also don't have a place at the school to keep these sprouts. I think I'll be collecting the bags and caring for them at home until we are done with them.