Aug 102013


In this activity, students explore the world of crop history in North America. They begin by choosing a crop species that was historically grown in the Americas, studying the history and ordering bulk amounts of seeds from an heirloom variety that has been around for many years. The students use the bulk seed to run a small- scale seed store where they repackage and sell seed for a profit. Students also examine the characteristics of the seed and use the schoolyard or classroom as a place to plant and examine the growth of the variety they have chosen. Plants may be maintained in the schoolyard or at students homes so that they can save seed to create a seed bank at the school.

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Provide a detailed history about a specific crop plant
  • Describe the differences between currently grown crop varieties and heirloom varieties that were maintained from past societies
  • Identify major crops that were domesticated in the United States
  • Identify the diversity of some crop and garden plants and understand the artificial selection/evolution process that allowed for that diversity
  • Conduct a small scale, student run seed business
  • Start and maintain garden plants indoors
  • Plant seeds and start plants in a garden outdoors
  • Create a seed bank at the school


Lesson Plan

Student worksheet

Seed packet template

Teacher report

Lesson created by Brook Wilke