Lilliputian Landscaping

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity, learners examine the different materials gardeners add to their soil, and discuss how these materials are important for plant growth. Learners explore how to build a sustainable terrarium by adding a waterbed, mixing their own soil and transplanting a small plant into their terrarium.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 Quart-sized clear round plastic food containers (you can use old take-out soup containers)
  • Pebbles
  • Horticultural charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Nylon stocking, cut to fit diameter of the clear plastic food container
  • Tape
  • Small plants
  • Spoon
  • Water
  • Magnifying lens


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Biosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Education, Science Friday


  • All rights reserved, Science Friday, 2010