For the next few weeks we will be exploring a meadow habitat by creating a terrarium and adding to it, one at a time, easily obtained creatures. They will then observe the terrarium and see how the various animals interact to create a habitat. We will later add a second habitat, an aquatic habitat to which we will add aquatic animals and eventually making a self-supporting habitats column.
To begin, this week we are building the habitat and planting seeds.What you will need:
3 empty and clear 2-liter bottles
4-inch square piece of netting
a couple dead leaves or small sticks
Step 1: Remove the labels off the 2-liter bottles. Cut the top off of the first bottle. Don't cut it too short, just chop off the spout so you have enough of a bowl left over so that we can later fill it with lots of water (when we begin the aquatic habitat portion.)
Cut the top and the bottom off of the second clear bottle, making a clear coupler that will eventually link the two other sections together.
Cut the bottom off of the third clear bottle and save it. Now fill your top floor. Place the piece of netting over the neck of the bottle and secure it with the rubber band. With the bottle upside-down and the bottom off fill with about an inch of gravel then with a couple inches of soil and plant your choice of seeds (alfalfa, rye or mustard work well and are easily found in health food stores). Throw in a few dead leaves and a stick or two. Tape the bottom on to what is now the top of the terrarium. Don't tape it too tightly as we will be opening it up a few times to add more to our habitat.
Have your students sketch what you have done so far and make note of any observations throughout the week.
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Habitats, part 1: Soil (Nature Study, Lesson 216)