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Third-graders build terrariums for moms (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
May 9, 2014 at 12:09 a.m.

Nazareth Academy third-grade students Gracie Naquin, 8, left, Alyssa Garcia, 8, and Joliett Hanes, 9, wait for help tying ribbons around the Mother's Day terrariums they made in class. The students also wrote letters to their mothers telling them why they love them.

Nazareth Academy third-grade teacher Yolanda Hernandez knows the importance of showing your mother you care.

"Mother's Day is important because you really get to fully show your mother how much she means to you," said Hernandez, a mother of three.

Hernandez, who started teaching 29 years ago, said she decided to infuse her biology lesson with a special treat for her students' mothers.

Mother's Day is Sunday.

This past week, members of her class has been working hard to create terrariums with soil they collected on a recent trip to the Invista wetlands.

"We've been studying ecosystems," said Hernandez, who teaches all subjects. "I put my best effort to be as creative as I can be with my lesson planning."

MaKayla Schimek, 9, silently filled in flower petals she had drawn on a note made for her mother with a deep purple marker.

"Now, take your letter and fold it into thirds," Hernandez instructed. "Make sure it says, 'Mom' when you open it."

William Derek Hopkins Jr., 9, pressed down firmly on his card to his mother.

T.J. Vargas' card for his mother had, "Mom" written in big, red letters bordered by pine trees on the side.

As some students completed their letters to their mothers, Hernandez showed other students how to wrap a ribbon around their terrariums.

Lisa Du, 9, wrapped a sheer ribbon around the mason jar containing the little bit of earth she had gathered.

"This project is one that will set a good foundation for them," Hernandez said.

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