Early Science  /  Plants  /  Week 1: Lesson 1  /  Activity

Seed Sorting



Children sort a selection of four to five types of seeds that differ in size, shape, color, and texture and discuss what the seeds need to help them grow.

Bowl of seeds. Students watch as teacher sorts seeds.

These seeds are different sizes, shapes, and colors.

Sort the seeds. Put seeds that are the same into a bowl together.



  • Collection of 4–5 types of seeds of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures (for example, sunflower seeds, lima bean seeds, corn seeds, chickpea seeds, kidney bean seeds)
  • Bowls for sorting each type of seed

Directions: Lessons 1, 2

Learning Center
  1. Have children work together to sort the collection of seeds into bowls, creating groups of seeds that are alike.
  2. Encourage children to talk about the size, shape, color, and texture of the seeds. You might want to narrate what you notice a child is doing: Look! (child’s name) has put some big, white, shiny seeds in this bowl. Can you find some more seeds that look like these?
  3. Have children describe what they observe. Possible discussion ideas:
    • What do you notice about this seed? What does it look like? How does it feel?
    • Hold up two different seeds. What makes this seed different from this one?
    • Let’s find all the seeds that have sharp points on one end, like this.
    • Which seed is the biggest? Which is smallest?
    • Tell me how you are sorting the seeds.
    • Point to the bowl with small seeds. Point to the one with big seeds.
    • Which seed group has the most seeds? Which has the fewest?
    • Which seeds did your group plant?
  4. Before children move on to another Learning Center, ask them to describe how they would help the seeds grow into plants. Possible discussion ideas:
    • What do we need to do first if we want the seed to grow into a plant? What things do plants need to grow?
    • Do you have to water a plant if it hasn’t sprouted yet? Why?

Length of Play

5–15 min.

Group Size
In the Schedule


  • alike
  • big, biggest
  • compare
  • describe
  • different
  • group
  • same
  • seed
  • sort
Learning Goals

  • Observe and describe what plants need to live and grow.
  • Compare quantities (most, fewest/least).
  • Compare size (big/small).