Measuring Plant Growth

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Bean Growth Experiment Project

Author: DeRoo, Sally A.

Grade Level: K-8


Some seeds grow into plants and reproduce seeds at a very fast rate. Many plants grow several inches during a day. All plants do not grow at the same rate. Plants need water, sun and soil to grow. Too much light (sunlight) will burn the leaves of new plants.


Several flower pots or milk cartons with good soil in them. A variety of bean seeds. String to support the plants. Graph paper to record growth. A pencil and ruler or metric stick to record and measure the plant growth. You will also need a sunny window, water and a pie pan or container to place under the pots.


  1. Plant the seeds in the containers. Seeds should be about one inch deep, one per container. Check the planting depths listed on each package.

  2. Place your containers in a sunny window. Water the seeds. Poke holes in the bottom of the milk cartons for drainage before or after planting. Drainage is necessary or plants can get too much water and the roots will rot.

  3. Place a small pie tin or container under the pots to catch the excess water.

  4. Prepare the graph paper as to what you want to record: days, the inches and/or meters of growth. Excellent math correlation.

  5. Watch for signs of growth. Begin measuring the plants and recording the growth when it first appears.

  6. Attach a string to each container. A support string of several feet is necessary as bean plants usually climb the string. Bush beans will not climb but will need support.

  7. Using the graph paper, compare the growth of the plants.

Follow-Up Activities (Optional):

Elementary School Lessons and Materials
Middle School Lessons and Materials

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