Garden Lessons: An experiment- Do Radish Plants Need Sunlight to Live? (1st grade)


Grades: 1st

Lesson Objective(s): Plants (even sprouts!) need sunlight to live.

Ohio Curriculum Standard: Living things have basic needs.

Supplies Needed

  • “It Starts With a Seed” Book (if inside)

  • 1 Poster board with drawing of a plant in middle, top of poster says “PLANTS NEED:” (1 per class)

  • wooden Popsicle sticks with name of class & date planted

  • Several large seeding trays (or deep dish aluminum pans, or enough small compostable pots for per child)

  • Seeding soil

  • easy-to-sow radish seeds (1 per child)

  • markers

  • Several spray bottles with fresh water

  • a large box- large enough to put over 1 seeding tray (or could use another seeding tray)

  • sunlight vs no sunlight labels

  • “Sun, soil, water, air” chart for sun vs no sun plants

  • 2 fold out tables (if in garden)

  • a radish

  • radish snack- w butter & salt, plus a few unsalted/unbuttered ones

  • Harmonica

Introduction (5 mins)

  • Welcome everyone to garden: introduce self & grown ups

  • If inside/have time: read “It starts with a seed”

  • Show class a radish:

    • This is a Radish! is this radish living or non-living? (living)

    • What kinds of things does this plant need? (sun, water, space, air)

  • Once pass out whiteboard, draw a picture, or write: 4 things plants need to live- just a best guess is fine! (give a minute or so) (take photo of whiteboards after class leaves)

Activity (20 mins)

If inside Classroom:

  • tell group that we’re going to plant radish seeds in BOTH of these containers:

    • one container, we’ll leave out in the sunlight

    • the other- we’ll cover up with a dark cloth/cardboard box so no sunlight can get in

  • Split class into 2: one side has “no sunlight” container, the other has “sunlight” container.

  • both groups use trowels to shovel soil from buckets into container.

  • Both groups plant 1 radish seed per student (do demo first for how to plant)

  • Use squeegee bottles- count 10 sprays per student

  • Once done planting: Decorate “No sun” box while waiting for others to finish planting (or radish cut-outs if inside- to tape onto “no sun” box)

If Outside:

  • Plant in both cover-able container AND in greenhouse bed (no sunlight vs sunlight)

  • demo how to plant seed

  • once done planting seed, water all crops

Wrap up (5 mins)

  • Gather up & Check off on the “sun, space, air, water” chart with everyone:

    • do our no-box radish seeds have space? Sun? Air? Water?

    • What about our boxed-in radishes?

  • Make a prediction: What do we think will happen to our “sun” radishes? What about our “no sun” radishes?

  • Everybody wash hands/hand sanitize

  • Radish slice snack: radish with smidge of butter & salt