Dried vs. Soaked Beans

Suggested Grades



Students will observe the differences between a dry and soaked bean, and identify the functions and parts of a bean at the beginning of its growth.


  • dry kidney beans
  • kidney beans soaked in water overnight
  • recording sheet: click on thumbnail image to go to a printable, full-page view. Press the ‘back’ button in your browser to return to this page.


  • Hand out recording sheets.
  • Give each student a dried kidney bean. Discuss with them how it looks and feels like.
  • Students draw a picture of this bean on their recording sheet.
  • Pull out soaked beans and demonstrate how to split it lengthwise with your fingers(should be easy, but make sure you have a few extras).
  • Pass out soaked beans on napkins. Discuss with them (students, not beans) how it looks and feels like.
  • Students draw soaked bean on their recording sheet.
  • Ask students to split bean on their own as demonstrated. Younger children may require assistance.
  • Return split beans to napkins and discuss how it looks like.
  • Draw the diagram below on the chalk board.
  • inside a bean
  • Explain to the students the names and the functions of the parts that they may see in their split beans.
  • Embryo– developing plant, Seed-coat– protects the developing plant, stored food (cotyledons)– food for the developing plant.
  • Students draw their own split beans, labeling the parts shown on the chalk board.