in Fall...Collect Them All!
Seeds in Fall...Collect Them All! is actually
five activities in one inquiry. In How Many Different Kinds of Tree Seeds
Can You Find at Your School?, students are introduced to the term biodiversity
while they collect seeds around their school. In How Many Different
Kinds of Tree Seeds Can You Find in Your Community?,
students collect tree seeds around their homes over a one-week period. In What
Kind of Seed Is It?, students identify collected seeds using selected
books and/or online resources. A class survey of seed varieties is used to reinforce
the concept of biodiversity. In What Is Dichotomous Sorting?, students
silently sort themselves into groups by attributes as an introduction
to dichotomous keying. In How Can You Use Dichotomous Sorting to
Classify Seeds?, student apply their knowledge of attributes and dichotomous
keying using the seeds they've collected and identified.
The Family Page extends this learning
to the community by inviting parents to facilitate home seed collecting and
This inquiry is designed to be completed in September or October.
Topics: classification, dichotomous keys, biodiversity, plants, germination,
reproduction, change, ecosystem, matter, energy, measurement, fractions, percent
Ohio Academic Standards Alignment: Click here to view content standards alignment to Science for Ohio by grade level.
Time Required: 45 minutes (introduction and schoolyard seed hike),
45 minutes (seed identification), 45 minutes (dichotomous sorting introduction),
45 minutes (seed sorting), 45 minutes (closure/assessment)
- Dichotomous (di=2,
chotomous=choices) classification is the process of sorting a group of objects
into groups based upon an attribute (size, shape, color). Classification
of subgroups often continues until each object has a unique category.
- Why only tree
- A majority of the
trees in our region produce mature seeds by late summer/early fall.
- In our part of
the world, the forest is the climax community. It is the dominant
ecosystem and the last stage of succession for plants in this area.
Left undisturbed by human activity, virtually all bodies of water, wetlands,
and fields in this area would eventually become forest. Trees are
the dominant plant in this area.
- There are a finite
variety of trees that are native to Ohio and seed in the fall. A
mature forest may contain as few as 10-15 species of trees. This
makes trees and their seeds relatively easy to catalogue and identify.