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Forest Floor Terrarium
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Food Web of the Compost Pile is a visual aide for use in teaching about food webs and energy pyramids. The forest floor and a compost pile have nearly identical energy interactions. Source: Worms Eat Our Garbage. Adapted with permission from Dr. Daniel Dindal. Click on the icon above for an image in pdf format. Click here for a gif image


The Forest Floor Puppet Show  is one of dozens of puppet shows you will find in Hands-On Nature: Information and Activities for Exploring the Environment with Children by The Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Assign a small group of students to create props and conduct this puppet show for the class. Click on the icon above to download this puppet show.


A Log's Life by Wendy Pfeffer uses lyrical text and paper sculpture art images to illustrate animal interactions in the cycling of an oak tree back to soil. An excellent classroom read aloud book. ISBN 0-689808063-61


Once There Was A Tree by Natalia Romanova and Gennady Spirin tells the story of a world of activity that revolves around a stump as it rots and returns to the soil. Originally published in the Soviet Union. A good read aloud for grades 3-5. ISBN 0-8037-0235-3


Re-Cycles by Michael Elsohn Ross takes readers on a visual journey to discover the life cycle of a tree, the water cycle, and the soil decomposition (compost) cycle. These three stories can be read individually or together to stress the theme of cycles. An excellent read aloud for the elementary classroom. ISBN 0-7613-1818-6


A Dead Log by Jen Green describes the diverse kinds of insects, plants and animals that live on and under a dead tree's bark as well as inside the log itself. A good nonfiction reference book. ISBN 0-7787-0136-0


Dirt Boy by Erik Jon Slangerup tells the witty story of Fister Farnello, who hates to be clean until he has some unexpected adventures which change his mind. A light-hearted read-aloud which challenges students to make connections while using their imaginations. ISBN 0-8075-4424-8


Compost Critters by Bianca Lavies has wonderful close-up photos and text to illustrate the small consumers that can be found in any environment where matter is cycling back to soil. A good book for informal student reference. It can also be used as a read aloud (selected pages only) when students find critters and the class wants to know more. ISBN 0-525-44763-6


Hands-On Nature: Information and Activities for Exploring the Environment with Children by The Vermont Institute of Natural Science is a wonderful teacher resource which contains hundreds of activities including outdoor investigations, puppet shows, and more. It is a great life science resource for the elementary classroom. Copies can be ordered at 1-800-421-1561. ISBN 1-58465-078-8