Earth Day Mini Gardens

Earth Day is this Wednesday, and there isn't a more perfect time to inspire little green thumbs with little green gardens. In the spirit of Earth Day, here are two projects that use recycled materials to make mini-gardens. Empty 2-liter bottles make excellent terrariums. Kaboose.com has a straightforward tutorial for making one bottle into a plastic terrarium This is lots of fun, because it requires almost no maintenance once everything's put together, and your students can see water condensing and precipitating through the water cycle. If you're feeling adventurous, you can add another tier to create a combined aquarium-terrarium. The connector is the middle of a third bottle. Just squeeze the bottom bottle a little to fit it inside the connector tube. Place the top bottle into the connector upside down.

You can also use up plastic Easter eggs as tiny planters with the egghead eggshell tutorial also from Kaboose.com.

If you want to embark on a larger gardening project, check out my previous post on school gardens.

Images from my collection and Kaboose.com


Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. The holiday, started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, encourages children and adults to make some time for enjoying poetry. Their site contains tons of ideas and resources including 30 Ways to Celebrate, a page of poetry lesson plans and a poetry Teaching Resource Center.
If you love Shel Silverstein as much as I do, you'll want to check out the Shel Silverstein website which has a page of Poetry Month activities like Don't Bump the Glump! character coloring
and another page of Kids' Poetry activities.
Scholastic has a full page of resources for celebrating Poetry Month like the Poetry Idea Engine where students can practice haiku, limerick, cinquain and free verse in a simple, fun format. There are also bunches of writing prompts, puzzles, and even 8 more pages of Shel Silverstein printables.