We are fans of project based learning here. What could be better than equipping our children with life skills in a way that stimulates many senses and builds on their natural play instincts? Extra points if you connect a project to a hypothetical situation they are likely to experience.
That's all just a fancy way of saying we grownups are are trying to manipulate nicely. Sigh.
This activity has all of the above, only the situation isn't hypothetical. It's real. And the goal is not the acquisition of an abstract ability, that is merely the side effect. Here the thing is the thing. We are saving seeds for the future. Future gardens, future eating, future food security and future sharing.
And keep in mind, that while these sentiments may thrill the soul of any holistically minded pedagogue, if it's not fun, or a positive experience, it won't stick. So keep education voluntary as much as possible. You can pick and choose from the steps below according to age, interest and readiness.
unshelled peas or beans (we grew Big Red Ripper southern peas)
paper or notebooks
Step 1- Choose the 3 best pods you can and trace them onto some paper. Number these 1-3.
Step 2- Measure the lengths of each pod and record them on the paper beside the correct traced shape.
Step 3- Open the pods one at a time and count the seeds inside. Write the number of each one beside their corresponding shape.
Step 4- Compare results and figure averages. You can do averages for each person and then figure an average from everyone's results.
Step 5- Choose the very best looking seeds, spread them to dry completely, then place in airtight, labeled containers.
Don't forget to shell some for dinner! Yum!