This is a leaf cutting that I propagated roughly eighteen months ago!

As the days get warmer and the end of the school year approaches, teachers often struggle to keep their students’ attention while wondering if they will forget everything once the bell rings for summer vacation. Here are some fun science projects with plants that will keep your students engaged and learning all summer!

  1. Vegetative Propagation

This lesson can be taught at any age level. Here is a lesson for young kids, but I did a very similar experiments in one of my college classes. You can talk about asexual reproduction and plant hormones or you can stick to the basics of photosynthesis. Either way it is a really fun way to grow plants in a new way.

2. Garden in a Glove

4-25-16 2 Garden in a gloveI taught this lesson at our summer reading program a couple of years ago and the kids ate it up! It is a great way to teach kids about what a plant needs to survive while also comparing and contrasting different seeds and plants. You could start this a couple of weeks before the end of school and hang them in the window. Then, over the summer, the students will be able to transplant them at home. If you use vegetable seeds, they might even be able to get a snack from their glove!

4-25-16 3 germination necklace

  1. Germination Necklace

My fifth grade teacher made these with us when I was in school and I still remember it! We all wore “our babies” around for a week and got to watch the seeds germinate. It is a super fun way to teach students about seed growth or to compare and contrast the effects of environmental conditions on plant growth. Once the plants outgrow their bags, you can transplant them and they can continue growing at home!

  1. Growing Letters

This is a cool activity to do with younger children to introduce them to what plants need to grow. All you do is trace the letters in their name with glue on a piece of construction paper and pour seeds on top. After the glue is dry, you spray the paper with water and put it in the window. After daily watering, the plants should start to grow in the shape of your students’ names. Another option would be to grow their spelling words or the letter they are learning that day!

  1. Grass Head People

4-25-16 5 grass head peopleGrass grows super fast so this is a great way to teach students about plants without having to take a couple of weeks out of class to do a big experiment. All you have to do is take an old pair of pantyhose and fill the toes with grass seed and potting soil. Students can get creative and decorate their person to look however they want. Once you are done with them, the students can go home and practice to be a hair dresser and the best part is, grass hair grows back!



elizabeth brown

Elizabeth Brown
Purdue University


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