Book choices for today:
Terrariums John Hoke
A Kid’s Guide to Making a Terrarium Stephanie Bearce
Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Botany: (first circle)
Need for lesson – Terrarium supplies. You can decide if you want each child to bring in a jar (a mason jar can work) or if you only want it to be group project or both. Pictures of different kinds of terrariums.
We have learned many things about different kinds of plants. We have planted seeds and started a compost for plants. Today we are going to make terrariums. What is a terrarium? A terrarium is like an aquarium for plants instead of fish. It can be of any shape or size from a small bottle to a large glass tank. What they need is sunshine and clean water. Sometimes people make a terrariums and put small animals in them like snails, frogs, or turtles. So some terrariums may need food for the animals.
Let’s look at the supplies we need to make a terrarium. We have a glass container, small pebbles, charcoal (optional), moss, soil, some plants, and little figures and stones to decorate the terrarium with if you would like to. The first thing we need to do is put a layer of pebbles on the bottom of the jar. We want it to be about an inch thick. We can use a ruler to help us measure. (I like to choose different children to take turns with the steps – an older child can measure) Next we need to add the charcoal. We only need about half an inch of this layer. The moss layer will be next. Now we can add our soil. Why is soil good for plants? The soil layer needs to be about two or three inches thick. We can now plant some plants. If you have a large container you can put more plants. If it is a small container two should be good. When the plants are in place the way you like we can add any of the figures or stones to decorate with. We will give it a little watering and add out lid. This is a terrarium.
What is neat about our terrarium is that it is just like our earth. How? Well we talked about the water cycle before. When we water the terrarium, some of the water accumulates in the soil and in the pebbles. The sunlight now will do what to the water? The sunlight will cause the water to evaporate and form water droplets on the glass. These water droplets will get larger and fall back into the soil, like how the clouds fill up with so many water droplets they fall down to the Earth as rain. This cycle will continue inside our terrarium if there is water and sunlight. Isn’t that amazing! We want to watch our terrarium very carefully to look for the water droplets, it will help us to know if we are giving it too little or too much water.
Terrarium Matching – I made these with stickers.
Botany: (second circle)
Need for lesson – The book, Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! and a variety of flower and vegetable seeds.
After reading the story, show the children the variety of seeds you have. Demonstrate how you they too can have a seed collection! Organize the seeds onto a chart. Older children can label the name of seeds in each area of their paper.
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