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Get Growing: Kidney Beans!

We can't resist a good bean experiment. Check it out below.

Germination is the process by which a seed changes to a seedling. This process starts when a dry, dormant seed such as a kidney bean is stored in a damp warm place. The seed absorbs water and the seed coat break open. First, the beginning of the root system appears and grows downward. Then a shoot grows upward and produces the stem and leaves. This young plant is called a seedling.

Follow the simple steps below to observe plant growth and development.

Materials needed:

1 clear plastic planter cup, 7 oz.

Enough moistened potting soil to fill the plastic cup

Two kidney bean seed (recommend kidney bean seeds because they take 4-8 days to germinate)

1 plastic spoon

1 pencil

1 roll of transparent tape

1 Plant mister for watering (optional)

Getting started:

Ask your child to tape one seed to the outside of his/her cup.

Then fill the plastic cup with enough soil until it reaches the rim.

Use a spoon to smooth the top of the soil.

Use the pencil eraser to poke one hole about 1 inch below the soil. Place the hole near the side of the cup.

Place one kidney bean seed in the hole up against the side of the cup so the child can more easily observe the seed changes. Cover the seed with soil.

Use a plant mister to moisten the soil thoroughly.

The plant should be placed on a shelf or table near a window to receive adequate light.

A small planter stick might be necessary for supporting taller plants such as the kidney bean and sunflower.

Predictions and reflections:

At the onset, ask your child to predict what he/she thinks will happen to his/her seeds.

Ask your child how would he or she be able to tell when a plant needs water. Example responses might include -- water the plant because it looks dry or a plant needs water and sunshine or put it near a window.

Ask the learner to observe his/her seed through the cup daily and compare it to the seed taped on the outside of the cup. If the seed has changed, then draw the changes and describe them.

Check daily to see if the plant needs water. To tell when the plant needs water, the learner can stick a finger gently into the soil in the center of the planter cup. If the soil feels moist then the plant does not need water.

Learners can measure the plant height daily and create individual growth graphs.

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