Living in Los Angeles one thing that is in abundance in our neighborhoods is succulents. When going for walks around town we can see all kinds of succulents; flapjacks, pinwheels, bigfoots, hens and chicks. Colors vary greatly with blues, purples, bright greens, deep reds. They are strange plants that grow beautifully in our sandy, clay like soil. If you take a small clipping from one of these succulents and place it in water, roots will begin to sprout. Or you can just place it in very wet soil and eventually it will ground itself and grow roots.
When a fantastic little restaurant on our block, Four Cafe, kindly began saving their extra large pickle jars for us. I felt so lucky to have these receptacles to store a lot of our materials. But when contemplating the plethora of succulents in our neighborhood and even in my own yard, I managed to save enough jars for kids to make terrariums. I mean what a great combination.
Using small rocks, big rocks, sand and dirt, I thought we could take advantage of the transparency of the jars and layer the different materials to mimic the inner structure of the earth and lets face it, because it looks beautiful to see the different textures of earthen materials.
The students chose their succulents and collectively decided to choose a rock to paint for the top of their "earth". Furthering our investigation we looked up succulent's name and the kids made labels for their terrariums.
The result was a heavy, precarious and beautiful terrarium that the kids were excited to take home.