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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

What on Earth is a Biome?

Lesson 1     Lesson 2     Lesson 3     Lesson 4 

AIM:  What are some vocabulary words associated with biomes?

MOTIVATION:  Have the children brainstorm different words and terms they need to know about biomes.  Refer to the pictures pulled from the web and different books from lesson 1.

    1.  Create a semantic web from the brainstormed vocabulary words.  Use KidPix or Superprint
    to create a semantic web on the computer.
    2.  Create a database for a vocabulary sheet.  Children can use on-line dictionary or class
    dictionary, or another reference source to fill in the database of vocabulary words.
Merriam-Webster OnLine
Merriam-Webster Language Center provides a dictionary, thesaurus and variety of word games and products:  http://m-w.com/
    3.  Review vocabulary words with the class, reading and explaining all the meanings.
    4.  Answer any questions about any of the words, if necessary.


BIOME a large area on earth that shares similar abiotic (non living)  and biotic (living) factors.
ABIOTIC the non living factors, such as climate conditions, (average yearly temperature, high and low temperatures, amount and season of rainfall), winds, sunlight, latitude, and soil type, in a region.
LATITUDE The distance a region is either north or south from the equator.
EQUATOR An imaginary line around the earth, equally distant from both the north pole and south pole.
BIOTIC FACTORS The type, variety, and number of living things in the region.  These are all determined by the abiotic factors.
HABITAT The region where a plant or animal naturally lives.
PREDOMINANT VEGETATION The type of plant life that is characteristic of the biome.
CHARACTERISTIC ANIMAL LIFE The type of animals that are characteristic of the biome.
OCEAN The body of salt water that covers more than two thirds of earth.
TUNDRA Large area of frozen, treeless ground, with little rainfall.
TAIGA An area with long, cold winters, and short, cool summers.
TEMPERATE FOREST An area of cold winters, warm summers, and moderate rainfall.  They are generally located in middle latitudes.
GRASSLAND An area with very cold winters, very hot and dry summers.  Generally there is little to moderate rainfall.
RAIN FOREST An area located near the equator, with hot, humid and rainy conditions.  The temperature is constant.
DESERT An area with hot, dry days, little to no rainfall, and cool nights.

ACTIVITIES:  Have children do the research to fill in the database from the web site above.

FOLLOW-UP:  This lesson will lead into lesson 3 - "What are the physical (abiotic) factors of the earth's major biomes?"


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