Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Bountiful Biomes

Linda Webb

Description

Students work in groups to research five different biomes (arctic tundra, tropical rain forest, North American desert, African grasslands, deciduous forest) and complete a graphic organizer.

Objectives

The student uses a variety of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping, outlining, grouping related ideas, using graphic organizers, taking notes).

Materials

-Biome chart (see associated file)
-Trade books about biomes (download associated file for an Optional book list)
-Encyclopedias
-Reference books
-Internet access (optional)
-Reference CD-ROMs (optional)
-Computer(s) with Internet access
-Bulletin board paper (white)
-Markers, crayons, colored pencils

Preparations

1. Teach a lesson on doing research using trade books, encyclopedia, reference books, Internet (optional), and reference CD-ROMs (optional).
2. Check out each of the websites listed in Weblinks if they are to be used by the students.
3. Collect pictures of several different animals and plants. Put the pictures on large cards or posters.
4. Make a copy of the biome chart for each student.

Procedures

Note: Students need prior knowledge of doing research using trade books, encyclopedias, reference books, the Internet, and CD-ROMs, if these materials are available.

1. Display several pictures of different animals and plants that would be in one of the five biomes (arctic tundra, tropical rain forest, North American desert, African grasslands, and deciduous forest). Ask students to put them in groups and give a reason for their grouping. Discuss different ways of grouping the animals and plants.

2. Discuss the meaning of biome with students.

3. Tell students that they are going to find out about some animals and plants that are grouped according to where they live.

4. Discuss with the students different ways to organize information before writing.

5. Provide each student with a copy of the biome chart.

Definition of biome:
(biˇome) Pronunciation Key (b m )n. A major regional or global biotic community, such as a grassland or desert, characterized chiefly by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate.

Source: [The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language], Fourth Edition Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

6. Have students work in small cooperative groups of three to four students, researching five biomes (arctic tundra, tropical rain forest, North American desert, African grasslands, and deciduous forest) using various sources: library books, encyclopedias, reference books, Weblinks (optional), and CD-ROMs (optional).

7. Have the students fill in the chart with at least five animals and three plants for each biome. Have them list sources of information on the chart.

8. Circulate and assist groups with research if needed.

9. Have each group use bulletin board paper, crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers to recreate a large copy of their chart. They may add drawings and/or graphics to their charts.

10. Have each group present their chart to the class (3-5 minutes). Display charts in the classroom.

11. Assess the activity. (See Assessment.)

Assessments

The chart contains at least five animals and three plants for each biome. The chart should also include the source of information. (See associated file.)
Teacher will offer feedback and additional instruction to any group that does not meet the criteria.

Extensions

Extensions:
Students can use drawing applications, such as Kid Pix Studio Deluxe or AppleWorks Drawing, etc., to create illustrations for the charts. Students can download appropriate free graphics for their charts from the Internet.
Assign a biome to each small group. Each group then creates a large mural for their assigned biome with plants and animals to reasonable scale. Students can use the graphic organizer to write a report comparing and contrasting two biomes. Students can use Kidspiration or Inspiration to create a different graphic organizer using the same information.
Modifications:
Working in pairs or small groups enables the ESOL and/or the ESE student to participate successfully.

Web Links

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
Enchanted Learning

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
Evergreen Project Adventures

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
Major Biomes of the World

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
Middle School Earth Science Explorer

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
The Wild Habit

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
The World's Biomes

Web supplement for Bountiful Biomes
Biomes

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