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The following resources highlight the importance of seed biodiversity and seed saving in a strong and resilient food supply. These resources fit with Canadian elementary school curricula and can be used to complement activities in current school garden programs or as part of general science-based activities focused on seeds and biodiversity.

Sow and Save Learning Resources

Gardens provide phenomenal learning spaces for children and can be used in countless ways to satisfy curriculum objectives across multiple subject areas. The resources below satisfy curriculum objectives in a range of subjects, from math to art to social studies, but with a specific focus on the grades three and six Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum, particularly grade three's Understanding Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants and grade six's: Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity.

Consider these resources a diverse menu from which you can select the best tools for your teaching. Most of these resources would ideally be used to complement activities in an active outdoor school garden program. We understand that not every school is blessed with a garden, but that shouldn’t limit your use of these resources. While an outdoor investigation of a plant’s lifecycle from seed to plant to seed is preferred, many of these resources can still be used individually to complement lessons in plant science, biodiversity or environmental studies.

The resources below are provided in unformatted documents that are easily modifiable and shared with others. Please feel free to pick and adapt the resources that best suit your needs. We understand the need to modify content for specific age, grade or student needs and appreciate the personal flair that each educator will bring to their lessons. We value your feedback and if you have any comments or suggestions for improvement or extension, please let us know! Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Lessons, Activities and Games




Students play the role of different bean varieties under ever-changing growing conditions in the garden. This game clearly illustrates how planting biodiversity helps keep the harvest safe.



Students plant their garden using scissors, paper and glue, putting biodiversity planning into practice.



Warm-up and channel your inner veggie with these diverse bean-inspired stretching exercises.



Start your engines! Students will track the germination of multiple different varieties of a crop (i.e. 3 different varieties of bean) and see which wins!



Learn to recognize the seeds found in common fruits and vegetables and create a class seed display.



Seeds are not just for the birds! Consider just how much this first step in the food chain makes up a large part of our diets.



Students make qualitative and quantitative observations while investigating the diversity found within a single crop.



Reinforce estimating, measuring, counting, data collection and graphing skills while exploring the diversity of the humble Jack-O-Lantern.


magic-multiplying seeds

How many seeds do you get in the fall for an investment of one seed in the spring? Estimate and count the number of seeds produced per plant.


seeds and pioneer life in Canada

This seed stashing/role-playing activity will get students thinking like hungry pioneer farmers.


design a seed pack

Save like the pros. Design a compelling seed envelope and learn about the important conditions needed to safely store and label seeds.



Examine the diversity of texture, colour and pattern in different seeds to create a biodiverse piece of art.


Background Information for Educators

Why Sow and Save?

Information for educators about the many reasons to teach children the art and science of saving seeds.


seed starting basics

Basic information for starting seeds inside a classroom and transplanting outdoors.



A list of suggested varieties to grow with children that will capture their imagination and provide striking, visual examples of biodiversity in the garden.



Background information for seed saving educators on collecting, drying, processing and storing seeds with students.



Using colour photographs, this document shows the basic stages to look for in the lifecycle of five easy garden crops (lettuce, radish, pea, bean and sunflower) so you will know exactly when to harvest your seeds.



Common vocabulary used when learning about seeds, seed saving and biodiversity within and among crops.


Multimedia Resources

A seed story animation video

The story of food begins and ends with seeds. In one minute, a group of elementary school children explain why seeds deserve our attention and protection.



Food biodiversity powerpoint

Take your students on a visual food diversity tour! Differences in size, shape, colour and traits create the bountiful, beautiful and resilient biodiversity of the food we eat. Learn why planting, saving, and sharing this food biodiversity is so important.


seed saving and seed banking powerpoint

Take your students on a visual tour of seed saving and banking efforts around the world. How and why would you ever save seeds? Learn the practical tools of the trade and take part in the global effort to protect our agricultural food crops.


Match the seed to the crop quiz

Guess which food grows from which seed? Take the 'Match the Seed to the Crop’ Quiz! to visually reinforce your new seed knowledge.


diverse food collages

From tomatoes to beans to sunflowers, these colourful collages visually showcase some of the astonishing diversity found within 12 common food crops. Pictures can be colour printed and laminated for use in the classroom and garden to promote an appreciation for the variety found within our agricultural crops.



This program was made possible through the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Mrs. Gretchen Bauta, and TD Friends of the Environment. On-going support through donations will help ensure the future of this program and ensure that healthy diverse seeds get into the hands of the next generation of Canadian children.

Make a donation to this program today.

Read 10436 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 18:28

LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.



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