Visible Roots: Plant Growth You Can See

As tulips bloom and the trees are finally a little greener, thoughts of planting seeds suddenly “Spring” to mind. Before you even touch a packet of seeds though, check out this clearly clever idea for keeping track of what those roots actually DO.

Been thinking of some dirt and seeds planted in Dixie cups? Here’s a better idea. Get a bunch of those CLEAR plastic cups. Cut some strips of black construction paper (about 4″x6″). “Line” the cups with the black paper. Stuff paper towels into the cup to hold the paper up against the sides.

Now, slip 3-4 bean seeds around the cup, between the black paper and the cup. (I use plain old kidney beans. A big bag is only about 75-cents.) Water the paper towels. Keep them damp, but not flooded.

Wondering why I’m suggesting this method instead of using dirt? Because THIS way, the kids get to actually SEE the beans wrinkle (as the water softens the seed coat), sprout, grow roots, stems, leaves, etc. And it’s ALL visible right through the clear cup.

T2T Contribution by Jerry Taylor, Technology Integration Teacher, Greece (NY) School District.

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