Wetlands Diorama Activity
Students create a three dimensional diorama model of a wetlands to demonstrate
their knowledge and understanding of wetlands.
Students show the components of
specific wetlands system and the relationship of these components to each
This is a concluding activity designed to follow previous wetland
preferably a wetland field trip.
Paper and pencil and the following materials for the three types of models:
|Diorama Example #1|| Diorama Example #2||Diorama Example #3 |
|Flat Surface Model||Shoe Box Model||Tri-foldModel|
|tray or board||shoe box||large piece of construction paper|
|natural materials ||natural materials||natural materials|
|e.g. grass/dirt/rocks||e.g. grass/dirt/rocks||e.g. grass/dirt/rocks|
|paper mache||construction paper||construction paper|
|craft supplies||craft supplies||craft supplies |
|models of animals||models of animals||models of animals |
- Students choose one of the four wetland areas to recreate in a
- On a piece of paper students write down everything they know about
the type of
wetland they choose. They should include all animals, plants, land forms and
environmental features. Older student can include how these components
to each other.
- Using one of the three type of diorama models, see illustrations
recreate the wetland in a model form.
Teacher Note: Teachers should share with the students an example of the
students will be using. Verbal and written directions are greatly
enhanced when an
example model is available for students to analyze. Students create
work when they have observed the set criteria. This is required for very
- Older students make notes or a short essay/paragraph to explain the
of their wetland components to each other. Younger students verbally
these components are related. Teachers can present younger students with
questions (e.g. "What does your frog eat?"... "Do you have any insects in
diorama? Can you point them out to us?").
- Students place their wetland models on their desks and take a tour
of the room.
Often called a silent or walking museum.
Types of Diorama Models
Example #1 - The Flat Surface Model
The Flat Surface Model is build on a cookie tray, cake pan, or
other shallow tray.
The land forms are build using dirt, clay or paper mache and are then
contents may include anything from mirrors for water, cellophane, toy
rocks, twigs, etc.
Example #2 - The Shoe box Model
The Shoe Box Model is created by taking the lid off of a shoe box, placing
the box on its
side and the lid under the box. If the lid is turned upside-down, it can
hold part of the
diorama. The objects and features in the lid and box maybe assorted
items, similar to
the Flat Surface Model, or only construction paper, or a combination of
Example #3 - The Tri-fold Model
To make a Tri-fold Model (looks like the corner of a room), take a rectangular piece
the paper horizontally and fold in half (hamburger fold). Keep it folded
and fold again,
while holding the paper horizontally (hamburger fold again). Open the
paper all the
way. Turn the paper horizontally. In the center of the paper, rip or cut on the
fold half way
down (to the center of the paper). Fold the paper to overlap the two squares
adjacent to the cut; staple these together.
The surface you just created (folding one
the other) is the base. This can be colored with crayons or pens before
students can glue construction paper onto it.
Extension Idea: Students create an edible diorama made completely of food.
they have shared their diorama, they can eat it. (Examples for diorama
are; fudge for soil, gummy candy fishes and worms, broccoli for trees,
shavings dyed in green food coloring for grass, candy rock jellybeans, etc.)
Written by: The Wetland Team
collaborating with Hugh Anderson
Tell us what you think about this page.
29 December, 1997