To start the investigation of ways to propagate new plants, each student plants tiny rapid-cycling Brassica seeds in a planter cup. The cups are kept in a tray under a continuous light source. The Brassica plants grow and develop for a month while the students care for, observe, and record the complete life cycle.
Grass and Grain Seeds
Students plant their own miniature lawns with rye grass and alfalfa. Periodically, the lawns are mowed to observe the response of grass and alfalfa to cutting. Next students plant individual wheat seeds in clear soda straws in order to observe in detail how grain seeds germinate and grow.
Students make new plants from stems of house plants. They put sections of stems from mints, ivies, and other plants into water and look for evidence that a new plant is forming. Stem pieces that develop roots are planted to make new plants. Students also plant pieces of potatoes (modified stems) and observe them grow into plants.
Bulbs and Roots
Students plant onion bulbs and garlic cloves in moist cotton and observe as they develop into new plants. Later, they plant parts of roots from the grocery store --carrots and radishes -- to discover which parts develop into new plants.
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