Peter.D.Riley

International bestselling award-winning author Facebook Twitter

Taking science education across the world

Our future depends on exploring all the frontiers of science, on innovative technologies based on these explorations and on the development of scientific literacy in all peoples through science education.

Early Years Science : Sowing seeds and scarecrows

Its become part of a tradition in Settle, Yorkshire for the children in the nursery and reception classes at Settle Primary School to make winter visits to the Play Barn, a children’s soft play centre and activity hub in the town, for cross curricular activities.

Following the writing of the cross curricular Hot Topics series  I devised a science session based on a farm, as we are in the Play Barn, and on growing plants, as we are coming out of winter.

Through a model farmyard the children are introduced to the animals and asked to sound like them.

Using a model farm yard

We discuss plants grown on farms, focus on how plants grow from seeds and set up pots of broad beans.

Planting pots of broad beans

We finish with a story I wrote called ‘One for the Rooks and One for the crows’ based on a phrase used by farm labourers sowing seeds in the time before mechanization. In this rhyme the children flap their arms (wings), make a beak of one hand and peck the ground. I eventually dress up as a scare crow which saves the seeds and lets the crop grow.

Dressed as a scarecrow!

This is followed up back in class with the children making observations on the germination of the bean seeds, the pots are transparent and the growth of the plants. The children can take photographs of their plants as they grow and by the summer they will find the plants have made seeds of their own thus completing the plant’s life cycle.



If you liked this, you might like to receive my newsletter where I keep parents and teachers like yourself informed about...

  • Fun and exciting lesson plans you can download freely from my site.
  • Videos, presentations and other classroom materials to compliment my books.
  • Teaching-related articles on my site with tips and ideas useful to you.

You'll receive no more than one or two emails per month and your address will never be sold or passed on to anyone else. You can unsubscribe at any time by simply clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. My mailing list is securely managed using mailchimp.com.

My Books

Follow the links below to find out more about my books and book series, as well as downloadable resources for teachers and parents using my books.

Books for Primary Schools
Books for Secondary Schools

Books and Resources for Teachers

Contact Me

I can be contacted in the following ways. If you have a picture for the Natural World Photo Gallery or the Science Exhibition Gallery, please send it by email.