This is a diagram of how the main processes in the Water Cycle works in Nature. Our class had decided to show this complicated phenomena by creating a miniature water cycle process in a simple terrarium.
To kick off our class terrarium, we first did some research on google in our inquiry groups to find out how terrariums work. Then we drew a plan and labelled the things we would need to make the experiment. Thereafter we discussed the different steps involved in the method.
The next day we went on a tikkie-tour or nature walk to collect small plants from our school gardens for our terrarium,
"Will this plant do?" asked Virgil. "No! a terrarium should have small plants," replied Margaret. The students used their research inquiry to make informed decisions. Great choice guys!
Awesome nature walk! We love this kind of learning Mrs Naidoo.
Back to the schoolroom to put all our research into action.
First take a clear or transparent container and cover the glass bottom with little pebbles to drain the extra water from the plant roots."This is to ensure that the roots don't rot in the container."
Now add some charcoal or dried twigs to keep the soil moist enough but not soggy. Next put in the loamy soil and add a half a cup of water to the soil.
After that make little holes to plant the little plants by pressing their roots in firmly.
Make sure you do not put too many plants inside the container as the plants will need space as well as air to grow and transpire.
And all this can be done in the classroom for us to participate and observe.
All you need to do now is to seal the cap with masking tape and place the terrarium on a window sill where it will get indirect sunlight.
Write the date on the seal of the container to find out how long it can survive without adding anymore water to it.
Observe the natural processes of evaporation (water vapour), condensation (droplets of water on the glass) and how this water drips down again (like precipitation) into the soil (through infiltration)and gets absorbed by the roots of the plants and is given off by the leaves (during transpiration) to be recycled and re-used several times over like the Water Cycle in nature.
Wow! like an amazing Water Cycle genie in the bottle- and to think all this can be observed on a small scale - as a simple glass container.
What a way to bring learning of difficult concepts like evaporation and condensation alive in the classroom. Thanks to Science.