This activity will help your students create their own mason jar terrariums! These handouts provide a list of materials, a set of instructions, and also a diagram to help show students all the steps to build their terrarium. How you choose to use this activity is up to you! It can allow there to be an opportunity to get their hands dirty, to study how plants grow, or to use as a foundation to study ecosystems if you decide to throw in a twist (i.e. constructing different ecosystems).
Tip #1: I've used this activity to help my students review and learn the various cycles of matter (water, carbon, oxygen, phosphorus, and nitrogen) where they have to explain how these cycles would work using the terrarium they designed and created.
Tip #2: I provide students the majority of a 45 minute class period in order to create their terrariums.
Tip #3: To save time and money, I had students work together in groups of 2-3 since I was using this activity across four classes of 20 students. You can opt to do the same, or students can make their own...your choice!
Tip #4: While this activity was developed to be used with mason jars (12 oz), you can adapt it to fit any container you desire, however, the amounts of materials you will need will obviously change. I also provided students with all of the materials, however, you can choose to do otherwise.