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New York Botanical Garden


2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets
  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 1 minute, 38 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City



School Gardening Part 4: Seedlings

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  • In this part of the School Gardening 101 series, students will conduct two experiments about germination and photosynthesis, learn how to care for seedlings, and troubleshoot common mistakes in seedling management.
  • The resource includes an introductory video, two lesson plans, a tip sheet, and two teacher exercises.
Teaching Tips


  • Students will practice important scientific skills in hands-on and engaging experiments.
  • The troubleshooting tips and teacher resources will help ensure your school garden is successful!

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is part four of a six-part series called School Gardening 101 by the New York Botanical Garden. The first part is an introduction, the second part is about soil, and the third part is about selecting and starting seeds.
  • Teachers must provide materials for the experiments such as potting soil, seeds, pots, egg cartons, cotton balls, and plastic wrap.
  • The last page of the Lesson Topic: Seed Germination document is a student worksheet that teachers can print to track the seed growth.
  • In the Tip Sheet: Troubleshooting Guide: Seedling Management document, the link to About.com's Common Mistakes in Seedling Management is broken.


  • Both lesson plans include optional ideas to extend the experiments, which teachers can use to make the lessons more challenging for older students.
  • To modify the lessons for younger students consider conducting the experiments as a class.
  • Both lesson plans require multiple weeks to complete the experiments. To save time, students can conduct both experiments simultaneously.
  • Teachers can make connections in math classes by creating graphs of the growth data collected in the experiments.
  • ELL students or lower grade levels may need additional support with some of the scientific vocabulary such as germination and photosynthesis.
Scientist Notes
While the YouTube video in this resource is older than our usual requirement, the information in it and the attached PDFs all contain information that is still accurate and helpful for understanding the seed germination process. This resource is recommended for teaching,

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

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      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • English Language Arts
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