This activity may serve as part of an inquiry unit on trees/plants.


  1. To introduce the concept of terrariums, the teacher present to students a video on terrariums.

  2. In small groups or as a whole class, discuss “What is a terrarium” and “Do all plants or living things need sunlight to survive?”. Record all student responses.

  3. To answer the questions, an experiment on the effect of sunlight on the plants is done through the creation of terrariums. Different types of plants are added to the terrarium and students add plants, sticks, leaves and other materials as well to create different conditions. The terrariums are placed in different areas of the classroom that differs in the amount of sunlight exposure.

  4. Students draw pictures of the contents of the terrarium and create labels for the terrarium indicating the sunlight condition of the terrarium with teacher guidance.

  5. Students make observations on effect of sunlight on the plants (through drawings in a journal).

  6. As a class, revisit the initial questions posed and discuss based on student observations.

Suggested Resources:

aquarium, plants, soil, leaves, sticks

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