- Students will understand how seeds are dispersed.
Wind, water, and animals are all helpful in dispersing seeds. This is important so that plants will have enough space, sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow. Light seeds are blown by the wind to new places. Other seeds are moved by running water, and sticky seeds or seeds with hooks get stuck to the hair or skin of animals and get moved to new places before they fall off. Still others that are located inside the fruit are eaten by animals, pass through the animals’ digestive tracts, and are deposited in other locations.
- Notebooks and pencils
- Worksheet 1: Whirlybird
- Paper clip
1.Using the background information above, discuss seed dispersal with the students.
2. To show how seeds are dispersed by the wind, make a paper “whirlybird,” using the pattern provided in Worksheet 1: Whirlybird, scissors, and a paper clip. Cut on the dashed lines only; fold on the solid lines, following the directions. Have the students drop the whirlybird to demonstrate how a seed is carried by the wind.
3. Collect some seeds and see if the students can tell how they would be dispersed.
1. Planting Seeds
Plant some seeds and watch them grow. The students can keep a record of their growth. By putting some in sunlight and some in a dark place, you can show that plants need light to grow. Collect seeds from fruits and vegetables. Label the seeds and add them to your collection. Plant some of them, too.
2. Planting Trees
Plant some indigenous seedlings and saplings around the school. As the trees grow, watch for changes in the bark and branches. At what height do the branches begin? What animals do you see using the trees and what are they being used for? How do people use trees? (For firewood and making charcoal, for example). What happens if trees are overused by people?