In preparation for our big trip to the wetlands, kids created life size representations of real prairie plants. When students get the opportunity to walk through the prairie they will see all the wild colors and exotic designs of these plants, but the real magic of the prairie begins below the ground. Unlike common plants that grow in gardens, most of a prairie plants' body is below ground. These long roots allow plants to survive long cold Iowa winters. The deep roots also help to prevent erosion and flooding.
With use of our classroom computers, students researched the information they needed to create the life size plants. The plants that the students created measured anywhere from 2 feet to 22 feet (top of plant to root tip). The easy way for students to create these murals would have been to give them the exact amount of paper needed, but since we don't do anything the easy way, they were give a 4X4 sheet of paper to create their masterpieces. So with meter sticks and scissors in hand, they cut, tore and manipulated the paper to fit what their research told them. With many modifications and lots of tape, a wonderful prairie was created!