Objective: To comprehend the definition of a biome, as well as examples and locations of these habitats.
1. Define and discuss a biome- A biome is a complex community of plants and animals in a region and in a climate. Sometimes referred to as a habitat, the plants and animals that live in various biomes are interdependent on one another. Write the definition on a whiteboard or have students write it in their notebooks.
2. List several main biomes their characteristics-
A. Tundra- This biome is cool and dry and there are typically not trees. The Arctic tundra is frozen, windy and is home to animals like the Snowy Owl, Arctic Fox and Polar Bear.
B. Grasslands- Grassland biomes are large, rolling terrains of grasses and flowers. Some common animals in the grasslands are Eagles, Bobcats, the Gray Wolf, and Bison. The rain amounts vary widely in the grasslands, which can create an erratic pattern of growth for plants and vegetation.
C. Deciduous forests- These are forests in cool and rainy areas. They can be found in the eastern half of North America, and the middle of Europe. The word "deciduous" means exactly what the leaves on these trees do: change colour in autumn, fall off in the winter, and grow back again in the spring.
Animals you might find in this habitat are the Black Bear, Grey Squirrel, Raccoon, Turkey and Ratsnake.
D. Coniferous Forests-Coniferous Forests are also called "Taiga". These are called taiga as it is Russian for swamp forest. These biomes are found in Europe, Asia and Canada. The taiga is the largest type of biome in the world. Winters are very cold and summer months are warm because the taiga is near the top of the world. Many conifers, or evergreen trees with needles grow here. Animals in this habitat include the Lynx, Moose, Wolverine and Hawk Owl.
*Note that additional habitats can be added if desired. These include the Desert, Chaparral, Tropical Rainforest, Pond, Ocean, Savanna, Prairie, Freshwater Marsh and Swamp.
3. Create a lapbook and or notebook with descriptions and pictures of these biomes. Sources for free printable material are at the end of this lesson plan.
4. Read and discuss the books "What Is a Biome?" (Science of Living Things) by Bobbie Kalman, "Many Biomes, One Earth" by Sneed B. Collard III and "What Are Earth's Biomes?" by Bobbie Kalman.
5. Explore the geography of these habitats using a map and finding the areas on "Blue Planet Biomes" (link below)
6. Post Lesson Work- Give the homeschooler an option to research a specific biome further, and create a "shoebox habitat". This can easily be done by using animal figures, art supplies and a great imagination! Other post lesson options include a quiz and/or worksheets to assess comprehension. These can be found from the links below.
www.biologycorner.com/bio4/qz_eco_biomes.html (*This is a quiz designed for grades four to six. Answers are given once submitted)
www.harcourtschool.com/activity/animalneeds/ (*Online review game)