• Sarah Besse

Pop open our curiosity!

Jewelweed capsules explode open, propelling seeds here and there.


Do it again!

Pop, hop!

Pop, hop, drop!

Pods pop!

We wonder:

  • Why don't the thin seedpods burst open like the thick ones do?

  • How does the capsule turn into a green coil?

  • How can we catch the jewelweed seeds?

  • How many seeds are there in a pod?

  • What happens to the bees when they’re “swallowed” inside the flowers?

  • Why does the largest patch of jewelweed grow near Bussey Brook?

  • Can I plant a seed at home? What does it need to grow?

  • Where are the “jewels” in jewelweed?

Jewelweed sparks our interest in many areas, including:

  • Science:

seed dispersal mechanisms


hummingbird and bee pollinators

hydrophobic leaves

life cycle

  • Language:

rhyming (pop, hop, drop)

“talking local” (nouns of flora and fauna, verbs of movement, adjectives of description)

  • Social skills:

“It popped!” [look at each other and giggle] “Here, I found a big one for you to pop.”

  • Refining vision:

Finding camouflaged capsules

  • Fine motor:

Popping the capsules with pincer grip

  • Math:

Same number of seeds in each pod?

Get outside and find a jewelweed patch!

Look for jewelweed in moist semi-shaded areas, around the edges of streams and marshes, and in disturbed habitats such as ditches.

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