Uploaded by Tom Mc Sherry

Dead or Alive experiment. Seed Germination.

Science on Stage 1 & 2
Dead or alive? d
Establish whether the peas are living or non-living
You will need….
 Some peas
 water
 A container and lid
 Splints and lighter
 Eager students!
All living things share seven
characteristics: growth, respiration, movement, nutrition,
excretion, reproduction and
response. However it can be
difficult to observe some of
these characteristics. It may
not be obvious that seeds,
including peas, are alive.
Germinating plants respire,
taking in oxygen and producing carbon dioxide. Carbon
dioxide does not support
Follow these steps:
1. Ask the students some
questions about living and
nonliving things before
asking if peas are alive.
2. For the experiment give
the students a container,
put some peas inside with
a little water and secure
the lid. Challenge the
students to prove that the
peas are alive.
3. With a little time and
discussion the students
should be able to put
the pieces together and
conclude that if the peas
are alive and have had
some time to respire the
available oxygen will be
depleted and replaced with
carbon dioxide.
4. If the peas are alive the
environment within the
container should extinguish a lighted splint.
So what happened?
As the peas soaked up the
water the conditions were
right for germination. As they
germinated, oxygen was
depleted and carbon dioxide
was produced. A lighted
splint was extinguished when
inserted into the container
showing that the oxygen concentration was reduced.
What next?
1. Try this with other seeds.
Will this work without the
2. Why will the same test not
work with a seedling or
adult plant in a sealed jar?
3. How many of the characteristics of living things are