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Small Habitats

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Small Habitats

In this activity, learners build a model of a self-sustaining habitat (growing grass and beans from seeds). They come to understand the natural conditions which promote plant, animal and human growth, and explore such questions as: What are the parts of a habitat? What are the habitat's sources of energy, food and water? How do the parts of a habitat work together? This activity can be found on pages 35-36 of the activity guide.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 empty 2 liter soda bottle
  • 1 cup of potting soil
  • ¼ cup of gravel
  • 5 bean seeds or 1 teaspoon of grass seeds
  • 1 rubber band
  • ½ cup of water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Worksheet – Small Habitats
  • Observation Sheet


  • Earth and Space Science
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Biodiversity
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Biodiversity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All Rights Reserved, TERC, ©2007

Funding Sources:

  • NASA, NAS5-26555
  • National Science Foundation, NSF 9730728


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