Name/Title: If I Were a Seed, What Would I Need?

Academic content: Science

Purpose of Event: To learn the five elements a plant needs to survive.

Prerequisites: The students should know the parts of a plant and be able to draw and label the parts. The students should know how to follow pathways, hop, strike a ball, and move on different levels.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed: white paper; crayons; slips of paper with the written words: air, water, nutrients, space, and light, for each group; brightly colored tape; beach balls; rackets; two cones; and glue

Physical activity: manipulative, non-manipulative and locomotor skills

Description of Idea

Children will draw a diagram of a plant and then will move to centers to earn the things plants need to grow. The children will create a plant diagram with roots, a stem, leaves, a flower or fruit, and seeds. In order for their plant to stay alive they will need to go to the five centers and earn the thing the plant needs (slips of paper with the word written on it) by performing the task a specific number of times correctly. There can only be five people at each station at a time, but if a station is not full the children may pick where they want to go.

The first station will allow the children to earn "air." At this station the children will throw a beach ball in the air and hit it with a racket five times.

The next station will allow the children to earn “water." At this station, the children will follow a zig-zag path of tape while motioning their arms in a freestyle swimming motion.

The next center will allow the children to earn "light" for their plant. The children will have to find a partner and mirror each other, each giving one pose in the high, middle, and low levels. These tasks correlate to the sun rising and setting in the sky throughout the day.

At the next center, the children can earn "nutrients." The children will balance on a curved pathway marked by tape.

The final center will allow the children to earn "space." The children must hop around two cones. This will show the children that a plant needs space to grow because they have to hop around the cone. If they hop on to the cone, they will crush it. Just like the plant needs space, the children must navigate the space around the cone.

Once they have all five things that a plant needs to survive, they glue the words onto their diagrams.


The tasks to earn each slip of paper may be made into a more difficult or less difficult skill depending on the needs of the children. For example, instead of throwing a ball into the air and hitting it with a racket five times to earn "air," the task can be transformed into either asking the children to throw a ball and catch it five times (an easier task) or asking the children to find a partner and hit the ball five times between the partners with rackets (a more difficult task).

Assessment Ideas:

The teacher will collect the diagrams with the parts of a plant labeled and the materials they have earned for the plant glued on the paper.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

A child in a wheelchair can do this lesson if the paths are made big enough for the wheelchair to go through and if the station where the children mirror at different levels is changed.

Submitted by Rebecca McCombs who teaches at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/10/2012.
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