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Yesterday, we agreed to find different kinds of seeds and
bring them to school today. Each of you has a paper
plate, and you need to pour your seeds onto one side of the
plate. We're going to classify the seeds. To "classify"
means that we look carefully at the seeds, and check for
things about them that are the same, even though they are
different seeds. We sort the seeds into groups that have
some of the same features. You need to decide in what ways
they are the same. For example, some seeds are round. They
are different sizes, because they are different seeds; but
still, they are round. Poppy seeds could go in the same
classification as pea seeds, because both are round. Some
seeds are smooth, and some seeds are fuzzy or have stickery
bumps on them. That is called "texture" (pronounced "tecks-
tyur"), and it could be another classification. They are
different colors, also. Poppy seeds are black and corn seeds
are yellow. Pinto bean seeds are brown and white spotted.

There is even another way we could classify seeds. Who
eats them? People eat some kinds of seeds. We put poppy
seeds or sesame seeds on bread before we bake it. We eat
peas and beans, of course, and they are seeds. The pepper we
put on our food is actually seeds that have been finely
ground . Chickens just love corn seeds, and grains, like
wheat, oats, and millet. Let's put some of our seeds into
the bird feeders we have outside the classroom window, and we
can watch what kinds of birds eat them. Of course, in order
to make a classification, we have to put only one kind of
seeds into each feeder, and write it on our papers, then
write what kinds of birds eat them.

We can read about some of the wild animals, and farm animals,
to see what kinds of seeds they eat. Sometimes, when we
plant seeds, we have to try to put up something that scares
away the birds so they won't eat the seeds before they have a
chance to grow. Some seeds are not eaten by any kind of
animal, including people. Why do you suppose that is? Some
seeds may make us sick, but birds could eat them without
getting sick. Other seeds might be okay to eat, but it is
too hard to get their coatings off in order to reach the
seed. What are some other reasons you can think of that
would keep a person or an animal from eating certain seeds?

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