The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, sound recorders, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.
The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry.
Terrariums in the Classroom: San Francisco State University (PDF) – Classroom habitats such as aquariums and terrariums are essential tools for students to be able to make observations about living organisms. This document provides information on how to set up a terrarium and cost breakdowns.
Animals’ Needs: BioEd Online (website) - To learn the differences between living and nonliving things, students observe and compare candy “gummy worms” to live worms. They create worm terrariums and make observations that a worm is a living organism that has basic needs, including air, water, food and a place to be.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Plants in Space: BioEd Online (website) - Be part of an exciting investigation conducted on the International Space Station and on Earth! Examine plant root growth in microgravity and compare “space plants” with similar plants grown in your classroom. Includes a free, downloadable teacher’s guide and supplemental materials (registration required).
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Bottle Habitat: AskEric Lesson Plans (website) - Construct an aquatic ecosystem in a plastic, two-liter soft drink bottle and stock it with water plants, snails and fish. Over a four-week period, observe, describe and record the physical characteristics of the environment and the organisms living in this ecosystem.
Over a period of two to three weeks, have students make daily observations of the terrarium created for the Signature Lesson, and record their findings in their science notebooks. At the end of the observation period, ask the following questions:
- What physical characteristics of the terrarium environment support the organisms living in it?
- How do the living organisms within this ecosystem rely on each other for survival?
- How do the living organisms within this ecosystem rely on the non-living objects for survival?
A Kid’s Guide to Making a Terrarium, Bearce, S. (ISBN-13: 978-1584158134)
Bottle Biology: University of Wisconsin-Madison (website) – Learn how to convert 2-liter soda bottles into a terrarium/ aquarium.