Science for Kids: Dissect a Bean Seed (with free printable recording sheet)

One of our favorite science activities for kids during the spring season is dissecting a bean seed! It’s an easy science experiment to setup and is always lots of fun! This post includes a free printable recording sheet.

NGSS: Disciplinary Core Idea LS1.C

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Science for Kids: Dissect a Bean Seed~ Buggy and Buddy


As we observe all the new growth in spring, the kids are always interested in learning more about flowers, plants, and seeds. (Recently we observed how water travels through a leaf and explored flowers.) Today we’ll be looking at the inside of a seed!

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Materials for Dissecting a Bean Seed

  • Large beans (kidney, pinto or lima beans for example) soaked in water for 12-24 hours
  • Magnifying glass (optional)
  • Recording sheet (See below for free printable)

Procedure for Bean Seed Dissection

  1. Pick up a soaked bean and examine it.  
  2. What do you think the inside  of the seed will look like? Why? Illustrate your prediction on your paper.
  3. Rub the soaked bean between your fingers. The seed coat should rub off. Why do you think the seed coat is important?
  4. Now split your seed in two. (There is a slit going down the middle of your seed where it should come apart with a little help.)
  5. Observe the inside. (Use a magnifying glass if you’d like). Describe and/or draw what you see. Were your predictions correct?


soaking beans for bean dissection


Lucy’s Observations & Comments: “I think it will have sparkles inside.” “Look, it’s a baby plant!” “I want to plant it.” “Will it grow if we broke it apart?”


Observing the inside of a bean seed



– Different seeds require different amounts of time to soak in the water before being easy to dissect. We used pinto beans. They were ready within 12 hours.

– It’s easier to see the baby plant after the seed dries out. After the dissection, set your bean aside and reexamine it after it’s dry.

– You can go to this link to print the Bean Seed Dissection Recording Sheet.

Dissect a Bean Seed Observation Sheet


Question to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking

Compare the dried beans to the soaked beans. What is the same about them? What is different? 

What’s Going On?

A bean is a seed and has many different parts:

  • seed coat: the protective covering that surrounds the seed
  • embryo: baby plant
  • food supply (cotyledon): the material that feeds the baby plant

the inside of a bean seed

Want to go even further?

Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.

Science for Kids: What's Inside a Bean Seed Activity (with free printable recording sheet) Perfect for a unit on plants and gardening! NGSS- Next Generation Science Standard LS1.C ~


  1. Looks very neat! Filling away for the future 🙂

    Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  2. what a great science lesson and even better it’s with FOOD 🙂 thanks for linking up #kidsinthekitchen

  3. We are doing a gardening/plant theme this week. Pinning to my “Spring” board, I’ll be using your ideas and printable!

  4. Simple but fun. My daughter and I have been planting seeds and learning about the seed cycle. This would be another fun project.

  5. I am loving your Science Invitation Saturdays! Science is just so fun, this is really cool I have to put it on our to do list! Thanks for sharing on We Made That!

  6. Such a great science/gardening project. I don’t think I ever knew the names for all the parts of a seed. Thanks for sharing at Discover & Explore Gardening with Kids – pinning to share with others!

  7. It is so cool that a bean seed has everything that it needs. Thank you so much for sharing this post on Dig Into Gardening.

  8. Love this so much!

  9. This is a really great science experiment. I am pinning this now!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!


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