ALEX Lesson Plan


Biomes of the World

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Rene' Pouncey
System: Dallas County
School: Dallas County High School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 27466


Biomes of the World


This is a technology-based Biology lesson on the Biomes of the world. Students will work in groups and research their designated terrestrial biome. Students will research abiotic and biotic factors about their biome. Students will create a digital presentation of their biome using Haiku Deck. The presentation will summarize how the abiotic and biotic factors interact in their biome.  Students will then use the collected data from the presentations to create food chains and food webs for their designated biomes. 

This lesson plan results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 9-12
7 ) Develop and use models to illustrate examples of ecological hierarchy levels, including biosphere, biome, ecosystem, community, population, and organism.

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L12.7: Although the interrelationships and interdependence of organisms may generate biological communities in ecosystems that are stable for hundreds or thousands of years, ecosystems always change when climate changes or when one or more new species appear as a result of migration or local evolution. The impact of the human species has major consequences for other species.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Use observations to develop a model that illustrates ecological hierarchies and compare developed model to hierarchies existing in nature.
  • Use models to investigate the role of different environmental factors within the hierarchy.
  • Use data to develop a model depicting the ecological hierarchy of a novel ecosystem and communicate the dynamics of the hierarchy.
  • Investigate biomes, using a variety of resources to compare and contrast the characteristics of each.
  • Use evidence to classify major geographical regions into biomes, based on climate and dominant life forms.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Ecology
  • Biosphere
  • Biotic factor
  • Abiotic factor
  • Population
  • Biological community
  • Ecosystem
  • Biome
  • Species
Students know:
  • The biosphere is the portion of the Earth that supports life.
  • The lowest level of organization is the individual organism itself.
  • Individual organisms of a single species that share the same geographical location at the same time make up the population.
  • A group of interacting populations that occupy the same geographical area at the same time is a biological community.
  • An ecosystem is the biological community and all the abiotic factors that affect it (e.g., water temperature, light availability).
  • A biome is a large group of ecosystems that share the same climate and have similar types of communities.
Students are able to:
  • Organize objects or organisms into levels of hierarchy.
  • Develop a hierarchical classification model using standard language and parameters.
Students understand that:
  • In order to study relationships within the biosphere, it is divided into smaller levels of organization.
  • The simplest level of organization is the organism, with increasing levels of complexity as the numbers and interactions between organisms increase, shown in the population, biological community, ecosystem, and biome until reaching the most complex level of the biosphere.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Module:
Biome Bags; Protozoa Symbiosis; Global Carbon

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.B.HS.7- Use models to recognize an organism, a population, and an ecosystem.

SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 9-12
8 ) Develop and use models to describe the cycling of matter (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, water) and flow of energy (e.g., food chains, food webs, biomass pyramids, ten percent law) between abiotic and biotic factors in ecosystems.

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L12.5: The chemical elements that make up the molecules of living things pass through food webs and are combined and recombined in different ways. At each link in an ecosystem, some energy is stored in newly made structures, but much is dissipated into the environment as heat. Continual input of energy from sunlight keeps the process going.

NAEP Statement::
L12.6: As matter cycles and energy flows through different levels of organization of living systems (cells, organs, organisms, communities) and between living systems and the physical environment, chemical elements are recombined in different ways. Each recombination results in storage and dissipation of energy into the environment as heat. Matter and energy are conserved in each change.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Categorize organisms in an ecosystem based on evidence of how they obtain energy.
  • Construct a food chain that differentiates between producers, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers and integrate multiple food chains into a food web.
  • Use relationships between organisms to develop a food web and use it to demonstrate flow of energy and predict the impacts of population changes. Construct a pyramid of biomass, given population data about organisms in the ecosystem and make calculations using data from the pyramid.
  • Use mathematical examples, such as the 10% law to explain why there is less energy available at each level of an energy pyramid.
  • Analyze data to identify patterns in the cycling of carbon, nitrogen and water in ecosystems.
  • Use patterns identified in the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and water to build models of matter cycling through ecosystems.
  • Predict the effect of the reduction of a population of species on the carbon, nitrogen or water cycle.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Autotroph
  • Heterotroph
  • Primary producer
  • Primary consumer
  • Secondary consumer
  • Tertiary consumer
  • Herbivore
  • Carnivore
  • Omnivore
  • Detritivore
  • Trophic levels: primary, secondary and tertiary
  • Food chain
  • Food web
  • Biomass
  • Energy pyramid
  • Biomass pyramid
  • Number pyramid
  • Matter
  • Nutrient
  • Biogeochemical cycle
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Denitrification
  • Law of conservation of mass
Students know:
  • A food chain is a simple model representing the transfer of energy from organism to organism (e.g., sun → plant → grasshopper → mouse → snake).
  • Each step of a food chain represents a trophic level always starting with an autotroph in the first level and heterotrophs in the remaining levels.
  • The overlapping relationships between multiple food chains are shown in a food web.
  • An ecological pyramid is a model that can show the relative amounts of energy, biomass, or numbers of organisms at each trophic level in an ecosystem.
  • In an energy pyramid, only 10% of energy is passed from one trophic level to the next due to loss of energy in the form of heat caused by cellular respiration (10% rule).
  • In a biomass pyramid, the total mass of living matter at each trophic level tends to decrease.
  • In a numbers pyramid, it shows the number of organisms at each trophic level tends to decrease because there is less energy available to support organisms.
  • The exchange of matter through the biosphere is called the biogeochemical cycle and involves living organisms (bio), geological processes (geo), and chemical processes (chemical).
Students are able to:
  • Use a self-created food web diagram to predict the impact of removing one organism on other organisms within the food web.
  • Use data to create ecological pyramids to show flow of energy, biomass and number of organisms.
  • Model the cycling of matter (e.g., Carbon, water, nitrogen) through the biosphere.
  • Combine a food web diagram with a matter cycling diagram to provide a holistic view of the many aspects that make up an ecosystem.
Students understand that:
  • Everything in an ecosystem is connected to everything else (both abiotic and biotic), either directly or indirectly.
  • Nutrients, in the form of elements and compounds, flow through organisms in an ecosystem (e.g., grass captures substances from the air, soil and water and converts them into usable nutrients → cow eats the grass → human eats the cow → decomposers return the nutrients to the cycle at every level).
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Module:
Traveling Carbon Passport; Traeling Nitrogen Passport; Traveling Phosphorus Passport; Food Chains, Food Webs and Energy; Owl Pellets; Tree Carbon Sequestration

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.B.HS.8- Identify living and nonliving components in an ecosystem; identify the flow of energy within a common food chain.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will:

  • recognize the role of climate in determining the nature of a biological community.
  • compare features of plants and animals found in different biomes.
  • construct models of food chains and food webs in their specific biomes.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

The students will use technology as a tool to research, evaluate, and communicate information to others using a digital presentation.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:


Discuss with students the definition of a Biome. Make student copies of the Biome worksheet for students to take notes on during presentations.

Biome-  a large region characterized by a specific type of climate and certain types of plants and animals.

Make student copies or group copies of the rubric and discuss with the class before the project begins.

Technology Resources Needed:

Interactive whiteboard to model research and/ Haiku Deck for digital presentations.

Student computers to research the approved websites for their Biomes.


Make student copies or group copies of the rubric and discuss with the class before the project begins.

The teacher should create a free account in Haiku Deck. This software is very easy to manipulate. If you click on the help button in the upper right-hand corner, it labels all the buttons for you and shows you the options. If you select Gallery on the home screen, students can look at Decks that have been created and look at presentation templates. I would suggest that the teacher creates a sample Deck with the students on the whiteboard.  The students will also need to create a free public account if they want to use Haiku Deck.

Give students the Biome Worksheet to take notes on the day of the presentations.



Step 1- Show the video about Biomes

This video introduces the viewer/student to the Biomes of Earth. It is designed as a motivational "trailer" to be shown by teachers in elementary school and Biology and Ecology classrooms in middle school, high school and college as a visual introduction to the many types of places that life calls home.



Research (2 days)

Assign students to cooperative learning groups of four members. Assign each group one of the terrestrial biomes from the list below.


  • Terrestrial biomes:

Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Forest, Tropical Forest, Temperate Grassland, Savanna, Chaparral, and Desert.

The students should find out the following on their Biome.

1.      Location

2.      Animals found there.

3.      Plants found there.

4.      The climate of their biome including precipitation and temperature.

Step 2 - Students should research general information about their assigned biome. Students should also find difference pictures of their assigned biomes. 

Give students these three websites to begin their research


Step 4 - After students have gathered their research, the students will create a digital presentation. Students will create a free public account at Haiku Deck.


After the presentations have been created, have each group share their Haiku Deck with the class on the Interactive White Board. While presentations are being made, the students should take notes on their Biome Worksheet.

Biome groups will present their digital presentation to the class.


The students can complete the Biome Quiz at the end of the presentations and then create a travel brochure highlighting the abiotic and biotic factors of their biome as an extension.

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Assessment Strategies

Students can be assessed multiple times during the day by monitoring their research and notes taken during the class period. 

The Biome note taking worksheet should be graded on completion.  The students will be graded on their digital presentation using the rubric provided.

The students can be assessed on the Biome Quiz at the end of the lesson. 


In addition to the digital presentation in Haiku Deck of their biome, students could create a travel brochure convincing tourists to plan a trip to their biome.


Grouping students based on academic strengths and weaknesses will help them in creating their digital presentation and with the research.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.