What is a Biome?

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SWBAT define what a biome is as well as work on nonfiction comprehension skills.

Big Idea

This is our introductory lesson for our biome research project. We are integrating science with reading.


Lesson Opener

15 minutes

I can't wait to show this YouTube video to introduce our biome unit. It is a very well put together a video with amazing graphics. It gives the students a taste for what biomes are and hopefully leaves them questioning wanting to learn more. It is a very short video yet very powerful.

Reading "What is a Biome?"

20 minutes

Hopefully after viewing the YouTube video from our lesson opener, the students will be eager to learn about biomes. For the main part of our lesson today we will be reading a book entitled, "What is the Biome?" by Bobby Kalman.  We will read the book together as a class, stopping to discuss each section along the way. Sometimes when we read together as a class, I have the kids choral read, all of us reading together. Other times I have the kids read a paragraph or a sentence at a time and call on the kids randomly to take turns reading. I don't however, have the kids read a page at a time because I have found that it is too easy for the kids to not pay attention to what we're reading. They don't have to be following along to know where we are when it is their turn to read.  By having the students read sentences or paragraphs, they must be following along and read along with us so that they know where we are when I call on them.

While we are reading, I will demonstrate how to take notes, by writing important facts and key ideas on the board.  Tomorrow the students will be taking notes from books they read about a biome, so it is important that they understand how.

 Kalman, B. (2005). What is a Biome? New York, NY : Crabtree Publishing

Biome Gallery Walk

20 minutes

I found that the kids really enjoy what I call "gallery walks."  For a gallery walk I post a quick note topic on the giant Post-it note or poster and hang them around the room. The kids then walk around the room in small groups discussing and answering the topics or questions on the posters. For today's gallery walk, I will write "What is a biome?" on the first poster. the second poster will read,  "What is climate?" The next posters will each contain one of the biomes discussed in our book. (Forest, temperate forests, tropical rain forests, shrub and scrub lands, deserts, grasslands, the Arctic tundra, wetlands, freshwater biomes, oceans)

Once the posters are hung around the room I will divide the kids into groups and have them walk around adding information to each poster. Anything that is added to a poster should be able to be backed by evidence from our book. I will instruct the students to answer the questions on the two question posters using information from the book. On the biome posters students will need to add information learned about that specific biome.  

Lesson Closer

10 minutes

To wrap up our lesson today, we will take a look at the posters after our gallery walk. Will discuss the information was added to each of the posters and why that information was added to the poster.