Note: This experiment will allow students to understand that water and nutrients are essential for healthy growth and development. This lesson will take at least two weeks to complete, therefore, please plan accordingly so that students have time each day to collect data for a 3-week period.


At each work station, lay the materials out for each student group. You may want to soak beans overnight for 24 hours to speed up the growing process. Make eleven copies of the data portion of the Group Worksheet for each group to record data. Make a copy of the Final Report section for every student to complete.

Day 1: Set-up

1. Divide students into groups. Before starting the experiment, have students conduct an inventory of the materials. Using the marker, a student should label the cups; Cup 1: Water, Cup 2: Nutrients, and Cup 3: Water and Nutrients.

Also, have the groups label the cups with their group name

2. Have students fill their cups with soil and plant one bean seed in each cup.

3. Have students add water only to the cup labeled water, plant food or fertilizer only to the cup labeled nutrients, and water and plant food to the cup labeled water and nutrients. Please read the instructions for the purchased plant food and have students add the plant food accordingly.

4. Have students place plants near a window or area that will get adequate sunlight. If preferred, growth lamps can be used.

5. Have students complete the experiment and fill in the Group Worksheet. Each student is responsible for the Final Report Worksheet.

Steps for Maintenance and Recording Data

  1. Have students water plants every third day and add plant food to plants as specified on the directions. Miracle Grow instructs individuals to add plant food every 7 to 14 days.
  2. Have groups record any observations concerning growth, appearance, texture and seedling production. Measure any sprouts and record measurements on the worksheet. Have each group fill in the chart each day with the measurements.

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