Store cupboard scientist


Use dried pulses and beans you would find in your store cupboard to carry out a plant growth experiment.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science

Learning objectives

  • Observe how water and light affect how plants grow
  • Learn to think scientifically


Ask the pupils to look in their food cupboards at home and bring to school any examples of foods that are seeds e.g. popping corn, lentils, chick peas, dried peas, mung beans etc.

Equipment needed

  • Small plant pots or modules and potting compost
  • Labels/ pen
  • Watering equipment
  • Packet of dried mixed beans
  • Small containers for sorting beans
  • Tray or receptacle for standing pots on

Step by step

  1. Decide the type of investigation you want to conduct. i.e. Compare the effects of light/no light, correct water/ no water/ too much water, depth of sowing, growing inside/ outside on one type of bean or give all the different beans the same growing conditions.
  2. Sort the beans out in their different types and try to identify/ name them.
  3. Pot up the seeds individually and label with the name of the plant and the date and conditions in which they are grown.
  4. Transfer the containers to a range of locations depending on what you are investigating.
  5. Care for the seeds depending upon the investigation e.g. water or don’t water.
  6. Record the development of your seed in a diary and evaluate the results after 3-4 weeks. As a scientist what did you discover?

Hints & tips

  • The different types of bean seeds can be sown in rows as above but if studying different conditions it is better to sow them individually.
  • Use this activity as part of Supermarket Sweep class growing topic

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