Dear Educators:  We would like to invite you to participate in a Keeping Watch on Habitat Exhibition to be held at UNC Charlotte Center City Campus at this link (February 27 through April 25, 2017).
Not only will your student work be part of the Keeping Watch on Habitat Exhibition, you will be meeting the NC Standard Course of Study for Science when you create the artwork for this Exhibition.

5th grade: Understanding the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystem
4th grade: Understand the effects of environmental changes, adaptations and behaviors that enable animals (including humans) to survive in changing habitats
3rd grade:  Understand how plants survive in their environments
2nd grade: Understand animal life cycles.
1st grade:Understand characteristics of various environments and behaviors of humans that enable plants and animals to survive.
We are asking you to undertake a biocube: exploring biodiversity activity with your students. The project was developed by the Smithsonian and the website with all the information on how and what to do is at Biocube at and a short biocube introduction is below.  Ted Miracle at Endhaven Elementary has been involved in a biocube project with his students and he says " Biocubes are a great way for students to apply observation skills, explore nature, and get involved in citizen science with the Smithsonian Institute.  I invite you to read and use my CTI curriculum unit about biocubes.  You can find it at this link."

At the conclusion of your biocube work with your students, we ask that you create a visual representation of what the students learned from their biocube and take a photo and submit the artwork for the Exhibition.  The instructions for creating the Exhibition artwork and for sending the artwork is below.
Let us know if you would like to participate in the Keeping Watch on Habitat Exhibition.  It is a great way to engage students in learning about habitats and relationships of plants and animals.  Your school will be recognized and students work will be displayed in the UNC Charlotte Center City Projective Eye Gallery from Feb. 27 through April 25, 2017.
Please email me at or Wayne Fisher at if you plan to participate and/or have any questions or need additional information/clarification.
Thank you so very much for considering this possibility.
Alisa Wickliff and Wayne Fisher

Engage & Create:  (Keeping Watch on Habitat, UNC Charlotte)

After you have completed your cube analysis of an area to define the bio diversity of that area your job is then to sit in it or close to it.  Take time, take some deep breaths, close your eyes, listen to the sounds, think about what those sounds tell you about what it is like to be in that ecosystem – but not a human. Open your eyes, look in every direction for a while.  Find one creature, insect or plant, in that environment that you would like to focus on. This could also be a creature that you know is there but you can’t see, like an earthworm.

  1. Decide on the insect, animal, bird or plant in your mind and visualize it.
  2. Start picking and finding parts of the natural world around you to create a collage of that creature or plant on your sheet of paper.
  3. Lay out your white sheet of paper (other colors are also encouraged! Just choose a color that helps the objects show up better by creating contrast between the objects and the paper).
  4. On the bottom of the paper write your first name, grade, school name and one line from the perspective of what it must be like to be that creature or plant in that environment. Speak for the creature, give it a voice:

*As a dandelion:  “I am tired of getting stepped on and cut by lawn mowers, but I  am a strong plant and will bloom anyway. It is so much fun when people blow my seeds to the wind. I will not go away.” Melissa, Grade, 3, ABC Elementary School

*As a bird: “It is fun to fly over the highway with all the air currents. I wish there was more food.” Harry, Grade 4, XYZ Elementary School

*Squirrel: “These trees are so awesome. I am much faster than you but those cars are tough, so many of us never make it across the street” Lashandra, Grade 5, KLM Elementary School

  1. Lay out your collected materials from the habitat onto the paper in the shape of your creature or plant, and try to arrange things above your writing.  It is ok if you cover the writing or you need more paper.  The important thing is to create something, compose it.  It does not have to be perfect, it can be a clever gesture that resembles the creature or plant. 
  2. TAKE an image of your work with a phone or camera – upload it to this site: so we can include your work in our exhibition!

Arrangement Examples: (please do not use googly eyes, only use what is in the environment)

Biocube at

Biocubes: Exploring Biodiversity

How much life can you find in one cubic foot? Compare your biocube with those from other places.

Students explore the biodiversity that surrounds them

STEPS to using a biocube

For Printing: Instructions (PDF) | Flowchart (PDF)

1. PREP your biocube

   2. BUILD your biocube

           3. DEPLOY your biocube

                 4. EXPLORE your biocube contents

                      5. IDENTIFY the life in your biocube

                           6. CLEAN UP your biocube footprint

                                7. SHARE your biocube findings