Studying Seeds With Avocados

I might be addicted to avocados. I just cut them in half and scoop out their green goodness with a spoon for a snack. Yum!  My son thinks the huge avocado pits are fascinating. At first, I think he thought they were rocks. When I told him they were seeds, he just looked at me funny.

It was hard for the kids to grasp that the huge pits are actually avocado seeds. In their minds, seeds are tiny. They are thinking of the tomato and flower seeds we plant in the spring. We love studying plant growth from those tiny seeds in the spring, but their size makes it impossible to use them to study seed structure.  On the other hand, this huge avocado seed is a great opportunity to easily see seed structure.

We tried cutting into the avocado seed, but right out of the fruit it was slimy and slippery. So, we let it dry out overnight on the counter. The next day, the seed was dry and the outside (seedcoat) was kind of papery.


We peeled the dry, papery seedcoat off the seed and found that the seed appeared to have two halves. My son pried the two sides apart and discovered the “baby plant” already growing inside. My daughter noticed that it looked just like the idealized seed worksheet we had labeled in a science lesson  a couple years ago.

After a short conversation about seed structure and what they need to grow, the boy had an all boy idea. “What would happen if we used a hammer?”

The seed was soft and became almost creamy when smashed with the hammer. He wondered if all seeds are like that. The acorns and walnuts are falling from the trees in the backyard. I feel a seed smashing session coming on this week!

I did a little search and found a couple resources to make this project into a real, planned out science lesson. It’s a fun twist on the traditional seed study.



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