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Grade 1 - How a Bean Can Change and Grow into a Magical Plant

By Jalyn Jang, Grade 1 Teacher / Grade 1 Level Coordinator  

While investigating the life cycle of living things, Grade 1 students explored how three different types of beans (red beans, green beans, and white beans) grow and change over time. Students began their inquiry by closely observing the exterior and interior of their beans by soaking them in water. Then they placed their beans on a wet paper towel and put them inside a plastic bag which was then taped to a window. Each day they used a diary to track the progress of their beans. After a few days some of the beans started to sprout and the germination progress began. As the students continued their inquiry, some realized that the beans could not survive in the plastic bag anymore and needed to be planted in soil to receive more nutrients. As students watched their tiny beans go through the process of change first hand, they learned Scientific words to describe the changes that they were observing such as germinate, sprout, bud, bloom, etc. 

The second layer of the inquiry involved exploring the factors that can influence life cycles. Since we were all growing our beans in different locations we shared the progress of our plants and noticed many differences such as the changes of colors, size of leaves, height, and speed of growth. We even noticed how different the changes were in the plants that teachers were growing based on the soil that they had used and the direction that their classroom faces. Even though our unit of inquiry has finished, many children are continuing to care for their plants in hopes that they will reach the final stage of development. Other students have decided to use their knowledge of beans to grow new plants like tomatoes and sunflowers. It’s amazing to see how inspiring one tiny bean seed can be!