Seed saving is a hands-on way for students to connect life cycles, to practice and apply classroom lessons, and to learn and apply standards

Seed Saving Extends the School Garden Season

Many of the food crops planted in gardens ripen and become ready to eat during the summer months, when students are not in school. Seeds, however, mature in late August through the fall, allowing for a curriculum to be in place when the school year resumes. With this change in perspective, the garden is not "dead" in the fall, but full of seeds and learning opportunities.

Seed Saving is Economical

Seeds you collect are free and are more likely to bear successful crops. Selecting seed from the strongest, most productive plants in your garden each year - taking care to collect seed from a variety of plants to maintain genetic diversity - gradually results in a genetic bank that is highly suited to the unique characteristics of your own specific micro-environment.

Seed Saving Stimulates the Five Senses

School-aged children are beginning their journey of understanding the world around them and are developing socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Seed saving provides ample opportunity to enrich development in these four areas. Refining these skills provides a solid foundation for academic learning throughout life.

Seed Saving Teaches Cycles and Seasonality

By allowing students to experience the full cycle of a plant, from planting the seed to harvesting the seed, the concept of cycles is experienced more deeply than by simply looking at a poster or handout. Seed saving reinforces the natural rhythms of the seasons.

Seed saving is a hands-on way for students to connect life cycles, to practice and apply classroom lessons, and to learn and apply standards. Using seeds and gardens to bring everyday meaning to various standards is becoming an increasingly popular option for many schools and teachers.

Content standards define what concepts should be taught at each grade level. School districts, schools, and teachers determine how those concepts are taught. Our goal is to provide a systematic approach to teaching seed saving and to provide lessons plans that make it easier for educators to integrate this important topic into the classroom and beyond.

All the lessons in this handbook attempt to lead students through the Steps of Inquiry: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. For each lesson, the standards that are noted either teach or apply the standard for the relevant grade levels. This program is designed to extend lessons to other content areas and standards, such as writing, reading, listening, speaking, and research components.

* This Seed Curriculum was designed to meet the California State Board of Education Content Standards.

Lessons 1, 2, and 3 are easy starter lessons that investigate some basic properties of seeds and can be taught in a variety of settings.

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lessons 4 through 7 focus on math, science, and social science, while teaching a number of important seed and seedling functions.

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lessons 8 through 13 have direct language arts connections, while helping to weave seed saving throughout the standards.

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13