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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.

Primary Science : Teaching the scientific method by growing beans

The nursery and reception classes at Settle School have been looking after their bean seeds since they received them at the Play Barn nearly a month ago.

All the beans germinated and the children observed the growth of the seedling shoots. As the pots are transparent the children can observe the development of the roots. The children have been watering their seedlings and keeping the pots by the window so the plants can get the light they need to make food.


This line of scientific enquiry is called making observations over time. The major working scientifically skill is observing. At one point the children were asked to demonstrate another scientific skill – to make a prediction. This was recorded as thought bubbles. The child’s name is written in the second bubble by the teacher, the child’s prediction is written in the third bubble by the teacher and the child draws a picture of the prediction in the large bubble. I have done on in the style used in school.

Beanstalk thought bubbleThe children’s predictions included “it will grow into a sunflower”, “into grass” (perhaps from recalling a previous plant growing exercise), “into a colourful flower”, “a rainbow flower” (use of imagination) and not surprisingly “a beanstalk that grows up to a castle.”

The children have now taken them home but are being encouraged to photograph their plants as they grow and send them into the new children’s blog facility so all the data on bean plant growth can be reviewed in the summer term, predictions evaluated and conclusions drawn.

Here is the first photo report arriving from home showing the measurements being made as
the bean plant keeps growing.


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