Herbs in the Classroom

Grade Levels: K - 5


  • Students will observe plant growth.
  • Students describe the plants and communicate data about them.


  • Egg carton, Dixie cups, or small planting containers
  • Potting soil
  • Herb seeds (parsley, chives, and basil are good indoor choices)
  • Shoe box or plastic Tupperware tray with high sides
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Larger pots for future replanting
  • Patience!


  1. Read the directions on the seed packets for planting tips (parsley seeds, for example, will sprout more quickly if the seeds are soaked for 48 hours before planting).

  2. Students punch small drainage holes in the bottom of the egg cartons or paper cups.

  3. Students fill each cup with potting soil. Have them press down firmly and water.

  4. Students sprinkle a few seeds on top of the soil and then add a thin layer of potting mix on top of the seeds.

  5. Have them press gently and water again.

  6. If students are planting different herbs, have them add labels to each pot so they don’t forget which one’s which (popsicle sticks make good markers).

  7. Put the minipots in the box and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap.

  8. Place the greenhouse in a warm spot.

  9. Keep an eye on the seeds, but don’t water them! The plastic wrap will keep enough moisture locked inside.

  10. Once the seeds have sprouted (basil takes about 5 days, chives about 10 to 14, and parsley about 21) remove the plastic wrap and put the pots in a sunny spot. Now the students will need to water them regularly.

  11. As the herbs grow, they’ll need to transplant the plants a few times into bigger pots.

Additional Activities Students can draw what the plants look like each week, and write about what the plants looks like, recording growth over time.

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