Sock Seeds

PBS & WGBH Educational Foundation
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Activity , Demonstration , Project
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.


Average Rating

3 (1 reviews)

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Most Recent Review

5 Simple but Straight Forward

I'm a huge supporter of having students involved in the process of learning science. In this activity, students are able to experience how seeds turn into plants. It is nice to see that students are able to see the connection between their activity and the results of the experiment over the course of several weeks or months.


The video demonstrates a simple investigation students may participate in to gain a better understanding of the external features of plants that help them thrive and survive in different kinds of places.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This lesson can be taught around the context of an animals role in seed dispersal. Some questions that could be asked to build student understanding are: What type of animal could have moved and dispersed the seeds that stuck to the sock? What enables the seeds to stick to the sock? Do some seeds stick better than others? Why? How do you think the ability to stick "helps" the plant grow?

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students should be provided opportunities to record types of seeds collected, gather observational data on how each seed attached itself to the sock, and share ideas of how the seeds could travel and be dispersed in other ways. This could be done in a large group with the teacher writing student responses so all students can see each others thoughts, in small groups with one of the students recording the information on a shared data sheet. or in a science journal.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
As students participate in observing the seeds grow, class discussion focusing on how the seeds were dispersed to the two different habitat areas is important.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students could show their understanding of how the seeds are dispersed by creating a science journal using illustration and text that demonstrates the plant life cycle from seed dispersion to grown plant.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The video and assumed student investigation provide opportunities to develop and use specific elements of the Practices and Disciplinary Core Ideas to make sense of phenomena.

  • Instructional Supports: The investigation provides students with the context, including phenomena and questions that motivates them to engage in learning.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Other than discussion questions, no formative, summative, and self-assessment measures that assess three-dimensional learning are provided. This resource could be strengthened by use of a teacher or student created data sheet and/or science journal .

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The video/lesson is easy to access by student and teacher alike. The video is of exceptional quality as all ZOOM videos are widely rated.