Air Plants - No Soil Needed

Description:  Air plants (Aerophytes) don't require soil to grow so they can use used as an introductory phenomenon as your students explore plant needs. Air plants live in areas with high humidity and are generally epiphytes (plants that live on but are not parasites of) living on larger trees. Air plants obtain the water they need to survive from the environment so they must either be misted or occasionally dipped in water.

Web Resource: Air Plant Care - HGTV, Air Plant Supply Co.


Plant Your Socks

Description:  This phenomenon will show students the diversity of plants in their local habitats. If you collect seeds from various locations (e.g. meadow, forest, etc.) you will see differences in the plants that grow. The socks mimic the functioning of animals as they move seeds from one location to another. This planting could also be combined with an investigation of what plants need to survive. The amount of sunlight and water could be varied with each of the different socks.

Web Resource: How Stuff Works


Exploring Microhabitats

Description:  Microhabitats can be found anywhere and they can lead to amazing exploration and discovery. An overturned decomposing log or the underside of a rock in a stream are excellent examples of microhabitats. Both a habitat and a microhabitat have typical abiotic (e.g. water, temperature, light. etc.) properties and biotic (e.g. plants, animals, fungi, etc.) factors. The nice thing about a microhabitat is that it is more accessible and a diversity of life can be found in an area that is not very diverse. If microhabitats are not available locally you can create one in your classroom. A terrarium or an aquarium is a great example of a microhabitat.

Web Resource: Microhabitats - Wikipedia