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Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Parable of the Sower - Observing Plant Growth in Different Environments




The seed exploration and planting activity which I carried out with my son last week was so popular that he has been asking every day if we could do some more planting.  We had plenty of seeds left and a spare seed tray so we had another planting session, but this time we planted the seeds into different environments to see how the environment would effect the growth of the plant.


We based our activity on The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3-9) where Jesus tells the story of a sower planting seeds in a field.  Some seed falls on the path (which the birds eat up), some on rocky ground (which causes the plant to shoot up only to wither later as the soil is too shallow to let the root grow deeply), some among thorns (which eventually choke the plant) and some on good soil where it thrives.  (In our scene I had to use weeds instead of thorns, but the principle is the same).


The parable itself is a story Jesus told to demonstrate the fruitfulness of God's Word in people's lives. The seed that falls on the path to be eaten by the birds signifies the "evil one" who snatches away the truth that is sown into the listener's heart, the seed that falls on rocky ground refers to the person who receives it, but does not let it take root and is overcome by persecution and trouble, the seed that falls among thorns signifies the person who hears the the word but is choked by the worries of this life and the seed that falls on good soil is the person who receives the word and is fruitful.


Wugs has been observing our Parable of the Sower scene for a couple of weeks now and we have plants shooting up in good soil, one in the weeds, some in the rocks and none on the path.  It has been outside for almost the whole time so the birds could have eaten the seed or the wind may have blown them away or to other parts of the tray.  It will be interesting to see if that tall shoot that has grown among the rocks will wither away as it becomes bigger and whether the shoot among the weeds will eventually be overcome by them (as the parable describes).

Whether our little activity will demonstrate these agricultural principles perfectly is unlikely, but it was a fun way to let Wugs participate in the parable by being the "sower" who has planted the seed, watered it, observed it and will hopefully see some "fruit".

What we used:
Seed Tray
Potting Mix
Seeds
Trowel
Weeds (from the garden)
Stones (from the garden)
Stones to create a path (store bought - something more level and without gaps would have worked better like a stone slab)
Craft sticks
Label
Marker

Please click here for more Botany-related activities:






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