Grade: 3-5
Subject: Science

#4360. Growing Lima Beans

Science, level: 3-5
Posted Mon Apr 13 19:07:04 PDT 2009 by Meghan Webb (Meghan Webb).
Huntington, WV

Growing Lima Beans

Name: ________________________

Do you like eating lima beans? Yes No

Well in todays activity, we are going to have a lima bean eating contestKjust kidding. We are actually going to learn a little bit about lima beans. We are also going to plant some beans and watch them grow over the next couple of weeks.

Do you know where Lima beans "originated"? Answer: _________________

Lima beans have been growing there since 6000 B.C.

Can you find this country on the map in the front of the room?

What "continent" is this country in? ____________________

How do you think that Peru is different from Barboursville, WV? Write down 6 things that you think are different.

1. _____________________________
2. _____________________________
3. _____________________________
4. _____________________________
5. _____________________________
6. _____________________________

Lima beans are often nicknamed ________ beans or _______ beans.
In fact, in the southern part of the United States, Lima beans are almost always called butter beans, even in markets and restaurants.

Lima beans contain 3 main varieties: ________, __________, and ______________
Warning: Did you know that you should not eat raw Lima Beans? They contain linamarin, which releases a cyanide compound when the see coat is opened. Dont worry; cooking deactivates this compound.

Growing Lima Beans

Lima beans and other seeds can sprout in the classroom. They are excellent seeds to grow because they are large, easily observed, and sprout in only a few days. Lima bean seeds have hard "exterior" ___________ that protect them from drying out until conditions are right for growth.

Can you name the 4 things that a seed needs to grow?

_____________, ______________, ______________ and __________________

Bean Dissection

Each of you will get a bean that has been soaked overnight. Soaking the beans overnight makes them swell and soften, initiating growth. Soaked lima beans can be opened to observe the embryo inside.

What do you do when you "dissect" something? ______________________________________________________

Draw a picture of your bean before dissection:

Draw a picture of your bean after dissection:

Now take your bean over to the microscope. Put it on the slide. You should be able to see the seed coat and the embryo.

Does your bean look different under the microscope? Yes No

How does it look different? Does it "magnify" things? Yes No

Stages of Lima Bean Growth

The following are the stages of lima bean growth:

Estimate: How long do you think that it will take for your bean seed to grow into a young bean plant? __________________

Which way do you think that the roots will grow?
They will grow "down" for __________ and ______________.
The stem and the leaves grow up for ______________ and _____________.

What does "germination" mean? ______________________________________________________

Planting Your Lima Bean

Follow the steps on the next page to plant your lima bean. Make sure that you write your name on the outside.

Give your bean a name. Write it down on the outside of the bag.

My beans name is _________________________________.

Test Conditions to Observe the Outcomes of Different Watering Solutions

Now that you have planted and watered your Lima bean we are waiting for it to grow. But, what do you think will happen if we use different types of watering solutions and different environmental conditions?

What is a "control"? __________________________________________

Watering Solution:
#1 (Control): Water
#2: Salt Water
#3: Soda
#4: Soap


What does the word "hypothesize mean? ______________________________

Write down your hypothesis for each of the tests. For example: #1: Grow Normally, #2: Grow Faster than Normal, etc.

#1 (Control): _______________________________

#2 (Salt Water): _____________________________________

#3 (Soda): _______________________________________

#4 (Soap): _______________________________________

Now you get to color and label parts of a seed and a plant. See the next page for your challenge! Do you think that you can do it?


All right guys, if you had fun doing this activity today you can try your own experiment at home. You can do this activity with different types of seeds. You can also do the potato suspended in water as well as the carrot top grown in soil.

Check out the pictures below as a guide: