Dioramas make creative and easy projects that can teach kids about different concepts. Find out how to make a grassland ecosystem diorama right here.
A diorama is a three-dimensional model representation of a thing or an event. Dioramas can be as small as can fit in a shelf or as big as a room. Museums often employ artists to make life-size models to depict important events or people. Dioramas as a school project can be a creative way to learn about different concepts of physics, different events in history, or different phenomena in biological and ecological sciences. One such concept that can be effectively explained using a diorama is an ecosystem, or a biome. A diorama can give the exact 3D representation of what a forest or grassland actually looks like.
Things You Need to Make a Grassland Ecosystem Diorama
- Shoe box or file box
- Origami paper
- Coloring material (poster colors, oil paints, watercolors, etc.)
- Pens and pencils (including markers, ball pens, sketch pens, etc.)
- Modeling clay
- Specimens of grass and plants
- Toy animals
- Miscellaneous material (scissors, superglue, tape, etc.)
Steps to Make a Grassland Ecosystem Diorama
Dioramas that depict ecosystems can make good and easy science fair projects. Here are some simple steps to make a grassland ecosystem diorama.
1. Sketch a diagram of the kind of diorama you plan to make. It will work as a guideline. Make sure you include all elements of a grassland in it.
2. Use a shoe box, or a file box to make the model. You can throw the lid of the box away. Place the box on a table such that the broadest side rests on the table. Now cut off one of the walls of the box. So you will have a box with two walls on the sides, one wall at the back, and a broad flat bottom or base.
3. Stick sky blue colored Origami paper on the walls of the box to create the sky. Use white oil paint to paint clouds on it. You can even tease it with cotton to give it a 3D effect.
4. Take brown modeling clay and lay it on the surface of the box. Make a layer thick enough to hold inserted grass or twigs. Do not flatten the clay completely. (The earth’s surface is never completely flat!) An option to this can be to use foam. An inch-thick sheet of foam can be glued on the surface of the box. You can now apply a thin layer of modeling clay on top of the foam so that it looks more realistic.
5. Now paste the grass specimens you have collected on the clay. You can dig out the clay to expose the foam beneath and paste the grass to the foam (it might not stick to the clay). If the grass is hard enough you can simply stick it through the clay and into the foam.
6. Use modeling clay to make a trough or a pit. Line the trough or pit with blue modeling clay and pour some water into it. This will create a stream or a lake in your diorama.
7. Use toy animals in the diorama. These would include antelope, deer, wolves, hyenas, tigers, rabbits, and many more. If you want to get really creative, you can make papier-mâché animals and stick them in your grassland ecosystem diorama. Use sketch pens and markers to add details wherever required.
Some General Tips
- Study the nature of grasslands found around your city or in your state. Try to read up as much as you can about them. If possible, collect grass specimens by visiting a nearby grassland. If you are allergic to pollen, take adequate care when you go to collect specimens.
- Supplement your model with a small information leaflet. Stick it on a cardboard and stand the cardboard next to your diorama. You can supplement it with photographs that you clicked on your visit to a grassland to collect specimens. If the model ecosystem is going to be a part of an exhibition, you can distribute copies of the leaflet to people who come to see your diorama. (Of course, first take your teacher’s permission!)
- Be responsible when you visit a grassland ecosystem to study it. See to it that your visit to the grassland has as little an impact on the ecosystem as possible. Make sure you do not pluck any rare specimens when you visit the grassland. Instead you may click pictures. Also, some grasses can be harmful to humans too. Make sure you can identify and avoid these.
So now you know how to make a grassland ecosystem diorama. It is not as difficult as it seems. Dioramas are a great way to develop your creative skills and to learn about new things at the same time. Hope you make a really good grassland ecosystem diorama!