ALEX Lesson Plan


At Home in a Biome

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Sherry Kelley
System: Covington County
School: Pleasant Home School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 9797


At Home in a Biome


This lesson allows students to study and learn the names and characteristics of Earth's six major biomes. The biomes are introduced with a slideshow presentation. A paper-folding poster activity gives students the opportunity to reinforce what they have learned. The culminating activity, a diorama, provides an avenue for creativity as students create a three-dimensional model of a biome.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (4)
5. Describe the interdependence of plants and animals.
  • Describing behaviors and body structures that help animals survive in particular habitats
  • Examples:
    behaviors—migration, hibernation, mimicry;
    body structures—quills, fangs, stingers, webbed feet
  • Describing life cycles of various animals to include incomplete and complete metamorphosis
  • Examples: damsel fly, mealworms
  • Tracing the flow of energy through a food chain
  • Example: producer, first-level consumer, second-level consumer, and third-level consumer
  • Identifying characteristics of organisms, including growth and development, reproduction, acquisition and use of energy, and response to the environment
  • SC (5)
    9. Describe the relationship of populations within a habitat to various communities and ecosystems.
  • Describing the relationship between food chains and food webs
  • Describing symbiotic relationships
  • TC2 (3-5)
    8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
    Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries
  • Using technology tools to organize information
  • Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
  • Example: keyword search
  • Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
  • SC2015 (2)
    7. Obtain information from literature and other media to illustrate that there are many different kinds of living things and that they exist in different places on land and in water (e.g., woodland, tundra, desert, rainforest, ocean, river).
    SC2015 (3)
    11. Construct an argument from evidence to explain the likelihood of an organism's ability to survive when compared to the resources in a certain habitat (e.g., freshwater organisms survive well, less well, or not at all in saltwater; desert organisms survive well, less well, or not at all in woodlands).
    a. Construct explanations that forming groups helps some organisms survive.
    b. Create models that illustrate how organisms and their habitats make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.
    c. Categorize resources in various habitats as basic materials (e.g., sunlight, air, freshwater, soil), produced materials (e.g., food, fuel, shelter), or as nonmaterial (e.g., safety, instinct, nature-learned behaviors).

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will name and describe Earth's six major biomes, including characteristics pertaining to the plant and animal life of each biome.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Plain, unlined paper (no smaller than 8-1/2 x 11); colored pencils, crayons, and/or markers; shoe boxes (not boot size); construction paper; scissors; glue; large index cards; other materials as desired for creating dioramas (i.e. magazines for pictures, etc.)

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, computer projection system such as LCD projector or TV scan converter


    Students should already have a knowledge of ecosystems, populations, communities, and habitats. In addition, knowledge of special animal adaptations make the lesson more meaningful.

    1.)Present the attached slideshow on Earth's Six Major Biomes. Engage students in discussion of information presented. Visit the following website for an interactive biome map.
    (Interactive Biomes Map)
    Interactive biome map.

    2.)Using a large sheet of paper (minimum 11 x 14), ask students to fold paper in half vertically and then in thirds horizontally. The fold lines will divide the paper into six equal sections. The students should then label the poster they are creating "Earth's Six Major Biomes." Each of the six sections should contain a label identifying that section as one of the six major biomes. A brief description of the biome as well as an illustration depicting plants and animals of each should be included. Markers, crayons, or colored pencils should be used to color each picture and to accent the title and labels. See attachments for a reproducable instruction sheet.

    3.)Students will create a diorama in a shoe box depicting one of the six major biomes. The students should choose one of the biomes and use Internet resources and/or the slideshow presented at the beginning of the lesson to identify characteristics that should be included in the diorama. The diorama should show both plant and animal life in the biome chosen. The attached form can be used to give to students for specific project requirements.
    (Enchanted Learning - Biomes)
    Information on biomes and habitats

    (The World's Biomes)
    More information about biomes.

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    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment for this lesson is in two parts. An initial assessment of the students' paper-folding poster activity will be done using a rubric (see attached) on which the teacher will indicate the presence/absence of each of the six major biomes and an appropriate illustration of each. The second assessment will also be in the form of a rubric (see attached) that allows the teacher to mark the presence/absence of the necessary components of each student's diorama.


    Visit Biomes for interactive games and other activities about biomes of the world.
    Wild World, from National Geographic, features sights/sounds and additional information on habitats around the world.



    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.