To discover what is inside a seed, pinto beans, which is a seed, can be dissected. Following are steps that can be used to observe the different parts of a seed. Note: While the diagrams show the water and beans to be green. Actually, the beans should be brown and the water clear.
1. Place 6 or more pinto means in a glass of water. Set the glass in the refrigerator and allow them to soak overnight. Keeping the beans cold keeps them from souring.
2. Place the soaked beans on a paper towel.
3. Use your fingernail to scrape the seed coat off one of the beans.
|4.Holding the bean in your hands, carefully pry the two parts of the bean apart with your fingers.5. Place the parts on a paper towel or sheet of paper with the inside of the bean facing up. If necessary, shine the light of a flashlight on bean.
6. Using a magnifying lens, observe the plantlike structure with two leaves which will be stuck to one of the bean parts.
What are the names and functions of the different parts of the bean (seed)?
Which part develops into a root system?
Which part develops into a shoot system?
Which part feeds the baby plant?
How are seeds formed?
For answers to these questions as well as other informatin about seeds, see SEED PARTS.
For more information about seeds, plants and other science topics, see Janice VanCleave’s Teaching the Fun of Science.