A Seed Grows
Level G

About the Book

Text Type: Nonfiction/Informational
Page Count: 12
Word Count: 111

Book Summary
A Seed Grows describes the life cycle of a plant, from a seed falling on the ground to the production of roots and leaves, and finally to the production of a new seed. The book ends with readers contemplating what will happen next.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Retell


  • Use the reading strategy of retelling to make meaning from text
  • Sequence events
  • Discriminate final sounds
  • Identify long /e/ vowel digraphs
  • Identify action words
  • Read and identify content vocabulary


  • Book -- A Seed Grows (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Sequence events, content vocabulary, seed journal worksheets
  • Lima beans, sandwich-sized zip closure bags, paper towel (one per student for science connection), styrofoam cups and soil as seeds sprout

Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)


  • High-frequency words: a, and, from, that, the, to, what, will, in, into, up, down, on
  • Content words: seed, soil, rain, water, roots, stem, sunshine, plant, leaves, flowers

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Ask students to explain what a seed is (a seed is the part of a plant that develops a new plant once it is planted and nourished). Discuss with students what happens to a seed after it is planted and what a seed needs in order to be able to grow (soil, water, sunlight, air).

Book Walk

Introduce the Book
  • Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title with them. Ask what they think they might read about in a book called A Seed Grows. Ask them to point out what is included in the illustrations on the front and back covers that will help a seed to grow (soil, rain, air from the earthworm digging through soil, and sunshine).
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name, illustrator's name).

Introduce the Reading Strategy: Retell

  • Explain to students that one way to understand and remember what they are reading is to stop now and then during reading to retell in their mind what is happening in the story.
  • Explain that when someone retells something, they explain the details of what happened in order. Point out that people retell stories as part of their daily lives, such as explaining what happened at a sports game. Ask students to share other examples of when people might give a retelling.
  • Model retelling a familiar process in detail, such as brushing teeth.
    Think-aloud: When I brush my teeth, I know that I often follow certain steps. First, I get out my toothbrush and toothpaste from the cabinet. Next, I put a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Then, I put the toothbrush in my mouth and move it in small circles over all my teeth and gums. After that, I spit out all of the toothpaste, and I rinse my mouth out with water. Finally, I rinse off my toothbrush, and I put my toothbrush and toothpaste back in the cabinet.
  • Have students place sticky notes in pages 4, 6, 8, and 10. Explain that as they read, they should stop on these pages to think about what has happened in the story. Encourage students to retell in their mind what happens in the story as they read.
  • As students read, encourage them to use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.
Introduce the Vocabulary
  • As you preview the book, ask students to talk about what they see in the illustrations and use the vocabulary they will encounter in the text. Model by thinking aloud, incorporating content vocabulary while looking at the illustrations. For example, on page 4, say: It looks like the seed is buried in the soil.
  • Model strategies students can use to work out words they don't know. For example, point to the word soaks on page 6. Model using a familiar word to read a new word. Say: When I came to this word, it reminded me of another word I know: soap. But, I knew it didn't have a p at the end. I thought about what the word would say if I used k at the end instead of p: soak. Then I added s to the end of the word soak: soaks. Read the sentence to students and ask whether the word soaks makes sense.
  • For additional tips on teaching high-frequency words or word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read the book to find out how the seed grows. Remind them to stop reading at the end of each page with a sticky note to quickly retell in their mind what has happened so far in the story.

During Reading

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their copy of the book. Have a volunteer point to the first word on page 3. Read the word together (A). Point out where to begin reading on each page. Remind students to read words from left to right. Point to each word as you read it aloud while students follow along in their own book.
  • Ask students to place a finger on the page number in the bottom corner of the page. Have them read to the end of page 4, using their finger to point to each word as they read. Encourage students who finish before others to reread the text.
  • Model retelling the story.
    Think-aloud: As I read, I paused to retell in my mind what was happening to help me remember and understand how a seed grows. I read how a small seed fell to the ground. It got buried in the soft soil. Next, the rain fell. I'll keep reading to learn more and then I'll understand how a seed grows from a seed to a plant.
  • Have students read to the end of page 6. Ask them to retell the events of the story to a partner.
  • Have students read the remainder of the story. Remind them to pause after a few pages to think about what has happened in the story and to make sure they understand it.

Have students make a small question mark in their book beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.

After Reading

Reflect on the Reading Strategy

  • Ask students what words, if any, they had difficulty reading. Use this opportunity to model how they can read these words using decoding strategies and context clues.
  • Retell in detail with students the events of the story from pages 7 and 8, using the pictures as a guide.
    Think-aloud: After the seed soaked up water from the rain, the roots grew down deep into the soil. Then the leaves and a stem grew up through the ground. The leaves gathered up the sunshine.
  • Have volunteers retell the events to the end of the book, using the pictures in the book as a guide. Then have them retell the story to a partner from beginning to end. Listen for whether students include the following: correct events in detail, events in order.
  • Ask students how pausing to retell the story in their mind helped them to remember what was happening in the story.
  • Discuss additional strategies students used to gain meaning from the book.

Teach the Comprehension Skill: Sequence events

  • Discussion: Ask students what will happen next to the new seed at the end of the book.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Tell students that this book explains the order of how a seed grows. First one thing happens, then something else, and so on. Explain that the order in which the events happen is called the sequence. Tell students that unless the cycle is explained in the order in which it happened, it will not make sense or be correct.
  • Think-aloud: The process of how a seed grows happens in a certain way. I don't include all the details of the process as I would in a retelling. I only tell the most important events in order to tell how a seed grows. First, a seed falls and gets buried in the ground. Next, the seed soaks up water from the rain.
  • Check for understanding: Have students share the sequence of events through the end of the story. If necessary, use the pictures in the book as a guide.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the sequence events worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Extend the discussion: Instruct students to use the last page of their book to draw a picture of what will happen next after the seed falls into the soft soil on page 12. Have them write a sentence about what their picture shows.

Build Skills

Phonological Awareness: Discriminate final sounds

  • Say the words seed and seek. Ask students what is the same and different about the words. (They have the same beginning and middle sounds, but have a different ending sound.)
  • Say the following word pairs aloud to students: feed/feet, root/room, man/map. Ask them to say the sound that changed in each word.

Phonics: Long /e/ vowel digraphs

  • Have students turn to the cover page and read the title. Ask them to point to the word that has a long /e/ vowel sound (seed).
  • Write the word seed on the board and circle the ee digraph. Tell students that these two letters stand for the long /e/ vowel sound in the word. Point to the long /e/ digraph and have students say the long /e/ sound.
  • Ask students to turn to page 7 and find two other words that have the long /e/ vowel sound and contain th ee digrapgh (deep, feeds). Have students say the words aloud.
  • Have students read the first sentence on page 8 to find another word that contains the long /e/ vowel sound (leaves).
  • Write the word leaves on the board and circle the ea digraph. Explain that the letters e and a together also stand for the long /e/ vowel sound. Write the following words on the board and read the words with students: meat, treat, seat.
  • Have volunteers come to the board and circle the ea letter combination. Have students say the sound the letters together represent.

Grammar and Mechanics: Verbs

  • Review or explain that there are special words that are used to tell action, such as grow and fall. Explain that these words tell what people, things, or animals do.
  • Have students turn to page 5. Ask them to identify a word that tells what the rain did (soaks). Discuss the meaning of the verb soak. Ask students what other things may soak or be soaked. Ask students to use the word in a sentence.
  • Ask students to find the action word on page 5 that tells what the soil does to the seed (holds).
  • Have students work with a partner to identify one additional action word in the book. Discuss their answers.

Instruct students to circle the action words in the book. Remind them to ask themselves whether the word tells something a person, thing, or animal does. Check their responses.

Word Work: Content vocabulary

  • Tell students that they read many vocabulary words that told about plants and how they grow. Write the following words on index cards: seed, roots, stem, leaves, flowers. Read the words together with students.
  • Draw a flower on the board. Have students use what they've learned from the book to identify each part of the flower. Have volunteers use the words on the index cards to label the parts of the flower.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the content vocabulary worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their book independently. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book to each other.

Home Connection

  • Give students their book to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends.

Extend the Reading 

Science Connection
Experiment with the development of a seed by having students sprout bean plants, observe the development of roots and leaves, and plant the sprouts in cups with soil. Have them follow these steps: Soak a paper towel and squeeze out most of the water. Fold the dampened paper towel into fourths, so that it is shaped like a square. Place a bean between one of the outer layers, and place into a zip-closure bag. Tape the bag to a window for sunlight exposure. Add drops of water as necessary. As beans sprout, transfer seedlings to styrofoam cups, planting them in the soil.

Writing and Art Connection
Introduce and explain the seed journal worksheet. Have students keep a daily journal about the growth of their seed. Have them include written descriptions and drawings to sequence the growth cycle.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • pause as they read to mentally retell the events of the book
  • place pictures of story events in correct order on the graphic organizer
  • correctly discriminate final sounds in words
  • associate long /e/ vowel digraphs with the long /e/ vowel sound during discussion
  • correctly identify action words in the book during discussion
  • correctly identify and read words associated with parts of a flower during discussion and on a worksheet

Comprehension Checks

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