I know that this is small and fairly basic, but its a first try and givne that it is in a classroom it needs to be small scale. Thanks for the tip on on using lava rock for the plants - I will look for some next time I'm in a larger center.
I think that into the tank part I'm going to use bettas, Although I have a molly that is getting very close to delivering - so I might move her then after the delivery move her back out. Then this small tank will work for the fry. Here is a picture of what I've set up so far.
Given that with the lid on the tank is fairly dark I'll be looking for some kind of light.