Animals and Ecology: Earth's Biomes

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Objectives:

  • The students will be able to define what a biome is.

  • The students will be able to name the biomes of the Earth.

  • The students will be able to identify at least one characteristic of each of the Earth’s biomes.

  • The students will learn where each of the Earth’s biomes is located on a map.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Can a penguin live in the desert? Why or why not?

  • What are some things that a penguin needs to survive that a desert cannot provide?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about the Earth’s biomes?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

**Worksheet packet will be used for all of the lessons on biomes**

  • “What is a Biome?” worksheet

  • “Aquatic Biome” worksheet

  • “Desert Biome” worksheet

  • “Tundra Biome” worksheet

  • “Grassland Biome” worksheet

  • “Forest Biome” worksheet

  • “Biomes of the World” map

Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • The definition of the word ‘biome’.

  • The names of the Earth’s biomes.

  • The characteristics of each of the Earth’s biomes.

  • Where each of the Earth’s biomes is located.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • The teacher will begin the class by showing the students the video “All About Biomes” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8cpoRuXOLg). The video is about 7 minutes long and reviews each one of the Earth’s biomes. After the video, the teacher should begin a discussion about the content/ what the students observed. The teacher should tell the students that today they will be learning about the Earth’s biomes.

  • Next, the teacher should hand out the worksheet “Our Earth’s Biomes” worksheet packet. If it is possible, project each page of the “Our Earth’s Biomes” worksheet packet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project. As the teacher explains each page, the students will underline the key words on their worksheet. The teacher should start with the “What is a Biome?” worksheet.

**This worksheet packet will be used for all of the lessons on biomes. In the worksheet packet, there is a worksheet for each of the five biomes. Brief facts about the biome are provided on the worksheet, as well as a picture. It is important that the teacher tell the students that they will be learning more about the biomes in future lessons and that this is just an introduction.**

**The student worksheet does not contain all of this information. Use this as a guide to help explain biomes more in depth to the students**

  • Biome: a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g., forest or tundra. (Dictionary definition)

  • Biomes help to divide the Earth’s surface/ areas.

  • The division of the biomes is based on climate, soil type, animals (fauna), and plants (flora).

  • Every area of the Earth is part of a biome.

  • The Earth is divided into five biomes:

  • Aquatic Biome (divided into: freshwater and saltwater)

  • Forest Biome (divided into: taiga forest, temperate forest, and rainforest)

  • Desert Biome

  • Tundra Biome

  • Grassland Biome (divided into: temperate grassland and savannas)

  • Next, the teacher should review the worksheet packet, page by page, with the students. If possible, project each page of the worksheet onto the board using a projector or place in a PowerPoint presentation and project. The teacher should read the facts on each page (or pick students to read). Key words are underlined on the teacher copy; students should underline the same words on their worksheet. After each page, the teacher should stop and allow for questions/ discussion.

** The information listed below is the same information listed on the worksheet**

  • Aquatic Biome

  • Refers to the plants and animals that live in the water.

  • The aquatic biome divides into freshwater and saltwater.

  • The divisions of the aquatic biome are determined by the amount of salt / salt content.

  • Freshwater biomes include: ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands

  • Saltwater biomes include: the ocean and estuaries.

  • Desert Biome

  • The main characteristic of the desert biome is the lack of / little vegetation.

  • Deserts have a very hot or very cold climate.

  • Deserts in Africa are very hot and humid. They receive very little rainfall and plants do not grow well.

  • Deserts in Antarctica are very cold all year long. Like hot and humid deserts, cold deserts have a lack of / little vegetation.

  • Tundra Biome

  • The tundra is the coldest of all the biomes.

  • The tundra biome receives little rain—even less than the desert.

  • Temperatures are very cold / frigid in the tundra biome.

  • Plants and animals that live in the tundra have adapted to the harsh climate.

  • Grassland Biome

  • The grassland biome divides into temperate grasslands and savannas.

  • The grassland biome consists of various types of grasses and small hills. It is not uncommon to find small trees in the grasslands.

  • The grassland receives a small amount of rainfall, enough for the grass but not enough for tall trees.

  • Wildfires are common in the grasslands, but they help to rid out the old trees.

  • Forest Biome

  • The forest biome divides into temperate forests, rainforests, and taiga forests.

  • There are a large variety of animals, plants, and insects that inhabit that forest biomes.

  • The forest biome makes up 30% of the Earth’s surface.

  • Tropical forests are called rainforests.

  • Colder forests are cold taiga forests.

Information Sources:

http://www.softschools.com/science/biomes/what_are_biomes/

https://kidskonnect.com/science/biomes/

http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/

  • The last worksheet of the packet is a world map. The map is color-coordinated to show all of the biomes. Review / discuss the map with the students.

  • After the worksheet is completed, the students will participate in an activity called “Fun in the Biomes.” The students can either work in groups (three students maximum) or work individually. On desks around the room, there will be biome station signs and an activity. Each biome has a different activity the students will complete. The students will circulate around the room and “visit” each biome. Allow the students to work for about 15 minutes. Reconvene and discuss when the students are finished.

  • The final assessment will be for the students to answer the questions:

Think about what you learned in class today. What is a biome? What are Earth’s major biomes? What percentage of the Earth’s surface do forests cover? Write one fact about any of the biomes discussed in class.

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

10 minutes

Introductory Activity:

15 Minutes

Earth’s Biomes

  • Give each student an “Our Earth’s Biomes” worksheet.

  • Project each page of the worksheet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Students will underline keywords on each worksheet.

  • Review the “Biomes of the World” map

20 Minutes

Activity: “Fun in the Biomes”

  • The students can work individually or in groups of three.

  • Set up the “Biome” signs on desks around the classroom

  • Tell the students that they will “visit” each biome and complete the activity.

  • At the end of 15 minutes, have the students return to their desks and discuss the activity.

Closure/Assessment
15 minutes

  • As an independent assessment, the students will answer the question:  

Think about what you learned in class today. What is a biome? What are Earth’s major biomes? What percentage of the Earth’s surface do forests cover? Write one fact about any of the biomes discussed in class.

  • Appropriate answers should include (but will vary):

A biome is a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g., forest or tundra. The Earth is divided into 5 biomes: aquatic, desert, tundra, grassland, and forest. Forests cover 30% of the Earth’s surface. Biome fact will vary.

  • If there is additional time, discuss questions from the classifying objects activity.


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.

Ecosystems, Biomes, and Habitats PowerPoint and Activities
Classifying Animals PowerPoint & Activities

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ryan@elementaryschoolscience

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