Monday, March 14, 2011

Lima Bean Experiment

My class also started their lima bean experiment to answer the question: “Can plants grow without water?”
Provide each student with a labeled plastic sandwich bag, one paper towel (cut in ½), and three lima beans. Ask students to carefully fold one half-sheet of paper towel in ½. Then have them lay 3 beans on the paper towel. Explain that the beans need to be in the middle and spaced apart. Next, students place their other ½ sheet of paper towel on top of the lima beans. This paper towel is also folded in half. Then, provide students with a spray bottle to dampen the paper towels. Assist as students slide their paper towel into the baggie. Show students how to leave part of the baggie unzipped to allow for air.

I recommend stapling the bottom fourth of the baggie to give the seeds a place to lie without sitting in the extra water that collects at the bottom.

Place the bags in a sunny place.
See the root starting to reach down!

Here are the results after a week and a half:


diana.a said...

I found your blog through this post a few weeks ago. Im a first year, first grade teacher. I'm currently doing this experiment, and I'm curious about when you put the plants in soil.

Our plants are reaching this point, any help is appreciated!
Thank you!

Alicia Lochridge said...

I planted the lima beans in soil when they reached the stage that you see in the pictures. At this time they had developed a root and were starting to sprout. Hope this helps.

Mrs. Lochridge

Peggy Broadbent said...

I'm impressed with the experiment you did with lima beans! I'm sure the children were fascinated!

I’m retired now but taught for many years. In my combined first and second grades, we also did experiments with Lima Beans, but with another approach. Please see my blog for experiments with Lima Beans that I did for years. Children really loved these experiments.

Jaci said...

We do a variation on this using clear plastic cups. Depending on the size of cup add 2-3" of soil and then put 1-3 beans against the side of the cup and add more soil. The students can watch the bean sprout and grow along the side of the cup. May have them do this, too, in order to dissect the bean. In the past we have only soaked them overnight to observe the change and split the bean to identify the embryo.

Anonymous said...

should i plant them in a bag or in a plastic cup? and how long does it take to grow?

Anonymous said...

I am a pre school teacher of a two year old class and our class did the project and it turned out great. we hung our bags in our classroom window and we found that the window that got the most sun grew the better plants.Then we planted the bean in dirt and they still grew strong. cant wait to see how big the plants get. Mrs.L.Mack

Unknown said...

Thank you for the activity! I plan to use this in the next few weeks!

This seems to have a better turnout than many others I have looked up!

Thanks again!

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