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Learners create a model of a wetland to observe how it absorbs and filters water from the environment. In part 1, learners make it "rain" on their wetland model and compare their predictions of where the water will go to where it actually goes. In part 2, learners consider and discuss the characteristics of wetland plants and animals and match pictures of different organisms to different types of wetlands. An addendum to the lesson provides extensive information, including photos, about wetland plants and animals, plus a section on "Types of Wetlands Found in New Jersey."

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Model, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • small foil pan or food container
  • 1 lb. plasticine or Crayola clay
  • cellulose sponge with no scrub side (to fit in pan)
  • 1/2 liter bottle of water or spray bottle of water
  • ruler (cm)
  • cup of potting soil
  • toothpicks or small craft sticks
  • permanent marker
  • photos or pictures of different wetland habitats
  • photos or pictures of different wetland plants and animals
  • student journals and writing tools


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, State of New Jersey, 2006

Funding Source:

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001