Trade Book: The Tiny Seed

TheTinySeed

Summary from Scholastic:

Carried from its flower home by the autumn wind, a tiny seed travels around the world. Its journey is perilous, and the reader learns the fate of fellow seeds: they can fall into the ocean, be burned by the sun, or be eaten by birds. Even those seeds that land and begin to grow are in danger of being stepped on or picked. Against the odds, however, this tiny seed survives to grow into a grand, beautiful flower, ready, in turn, to send its seeds out into the world on the wind.

How to Use The Tiny Seed in the Classroom:

  • Animals spread seeds in their fur, by eating the seeds then dispersing them later when they release their waste (kids love this fact), and other ways. Water and wind can spread seeds too. Have students identify how seeds spread with an activity, Seed Dispersal (PDF), from BBSRC.
  • Have students identify and diagram the structure and function of the four main parts of a flowering plant: stem, root, leaf, and flower.
Explicit discussions about the name of the structure and its function is a big, unifying concept in science primary education.

In primary science education, it is extremely important to have explicit discussions about the structure and function of organisms’ body parts.

  • Identify what plants need in order to go through photosynthesis: right climate, carbon dioxide, light, water, and nutrients.
  • Have students use scientific knowledge and what they’ve learned in the book to diagram the life cycle of a flowering plant. Don’t forget to encourage students to include death and seed reproduction; we often forget to talk about those essential parts of an organism’s life cycle.
  • With older students, you can identify other ways plants can grow besides seeds: cuttings, bulbs, grafting, spores…

More Resources:


The Tiny Seed is a great book to help students learn and understand flowering plants. I do not believe in being bogged down with reading level. Sure, this book may be on a low reading level for the 4th and 5th grade classroom (The Tiny Seed is 3.2 reading level or 400L), but the science concepts you can teach from this book are deep. It’s okay to “read outside the Lexile” especially when your primary goal is content learning.

Have you read The Tiny Seed with your students or child? How have you used this book beyond reading comprehension?

2 thoughts on “Trade Book: The Tiny Seed

  1. I love Eric Carle’s books — I use many of them as a springboard for exploration and discussion. The Tiny Seed is a fabulous one to expand on knowledge about plants.

    Thanks for sharing and for the links to additional resources!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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