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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
What on Earth is a Biome?

Project URL:


How it works:

The purpose of this unit is for students to become familiar with the characteristics of biomes, and to identify the different biomes on Earth.  They will locate the regions where the various biomes are located and will learn the vocabulary associated with biomes.  The students will use computer technology to research Earth's biomes, locate the different biomes on Earth, and use various programs to map Earth's biome regions.

One initial lesson would be to have the children research Earth's biomes on the Internet.  Using the links provided by the teacher, the students will be able to learn Earth's seven biomes and  to describe their abiotic (physical) characteristics.  Next, they will  fill in a data table created on the computer, and then create a world map, color keying the seven biomes onto the map.

Software materials used:

ClarisWorks, Grolier's or Encarta Multimedia Encyclopedia, KidPix, SuperPrint, Internet browser


Students demonstrate understanding of organisms and their environments.
Students demonstrate understanding of change over time.
Students demonstrate understanding of physical positions on Earth.
Students demonstrate understanding of Earth's diversity.
Students will write a report of information.
Students will conduct research using the Internet.

The Students:

This unit is geared toward students of average ability, in grades three to five.  This lesson can be adapted for middle school children as well, by investigating each biome in greater depth.  The students need to have knowledge of the software mentioned above.  The students could  be set up in cooperative learning groups with each student assigned a role that could be changed as they study each different biome, giving every child a chance to have a different role.

Overall Value:

I think the best feature of the program is the students' use of the Internet as a research tool.  The wealth of information found there will astound them.  I also think it is a great way for the students to show their creativity, in making maps, deciding on the legend for their maps, and filling in data tables.  This unit gives the students a multi-faceted look at the diversity of life on Earth, and an appreciation for how physical factors affect the growth of life.


Teachers should research websites in advance.  Have all materials needed on hand.  Motivate the students with plenty of pictures.  This unit could be extended to include student-developed Hyperstudio presentations.  

Bonnie Glasgold is a science enrichment teacher at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn, New York.  She has been teaching for 21 years.  She has been a TeachNet Mentor for two years and currently teaches Classroom Management courses for new teachers via the Teachers Network online course.

Email BMGLAS@aol.com

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 4

Subject areas: Science, Social Studies

Beginning Grade Level: 3

Ending Grade Level: 5


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