Objective: Children will learn about seeds and nuts and will explore how trees produce them.
A tree is a perennial plant with a trunk, supporting branches, and leaves in most species. The parts of a tree are the roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit. Some trees have needles instead of leaves. Many trees grow flowers and then fruit. The flowers and fruit are where the seeds come from to grow new plants. A tree nut is the dried fruit from the tree; it comes in a hard shell. Nuts are dry fruits with a hard shell and a seed. There is only one seed inside, and the seed remains attached to the inside wall of the nut. Most nuts come from trees and bushes, unlike most seeds, which come from fruits. A seed is a tiny plant inside a protective shell. Unlike a nut, a seed can free itself from the shell.
Many seeds are edible and are a major food source for humans. Cereals and legumes come from seeds, and seeds provide most cooking oils. Seeds are also the source of some medicines. Nuts contain a very high concentration of healthy fats and nutrients. Nuts and seeds are used for food and are an important source of nutrients for humans and animals.
Some seeds are in pods or leaf-type enclosures and need to be opened to remove the seed. If the children are not sure if they have a seed, that is OK. It can be a part of the experiment. If it grows in the bag over the next few weeks, then it is a seed.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.