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Students will be able to organize information from visuals about the major biomes of the world.

Big Idea

Students will need some background knowledge of biomes before we can begin to discuss organisms that survive well, or not well, in those environments. This lesson will build motivation and provide an opportunity to build background schema.


5 minutes

This question, "What do you think determines what organisms can live in certain environments?" will drive our session today. 

I will allow student to discuss this at their work tables for a minute or two. Then, we will share as a class before I tell them that before we can completely determine the answer, we should study "biomes" or environments. 

Mini Lesson

15 minutes

In order to build schema around the different biomes, I will tell the students that we will watch a video.  We will watch it twice. As they watch, they should pay attention to the difference of the environments they see and what life (animal and plant) they notice. 

Following the video, I will ask the students to help me build a list on the board of the different environments they saw. I am expecting them to say "mountains, oceans, snowy areas, lakes…"

After creating the list, I will show the students the graphic organizer I created and a PowerPoint slide show I put together. I will walk the students through filling out the organizer using the first slide, Grasslands. 

Active Engagement

25 minutes

For the engagement piece of the lesson, I had the students share a computer to view the PowerPoint, which I had loaded onto enough laptops and desktops for groups of 3 students.

As the students worked through their organizer, I circulated and helped the children think through what they were really seeing. I asked questions about not only what may live in that environment, but why they thought so.

When I reached this group, they were working well and brainstorming together. You will hear them answering my question. You will also hear me trying to engage one of their members, who was slow to answer.  As he continued to think, I turned off the camera and just listened to the group behind us. 

When I turned back around and tried again with the same student, listen to the response.  A little wait time and I had a student connecting learning from one unit to another. Not only that, he was using knowledge to make sense of something new. 

Lesson: stick around and let them think!

This group was "stuck" on thinking about the life forms that were immediate to the environment. I tried to get their thinking to be more encompassing of what a habitat could be. 

Sharing and Closure

10 minutes

This lesson will take two sessions, so for closing today, I had groups just share out what they had completed and what they needed to do the next day. 

To wrap up the second day, I will create a class chart of descriptions and predicted life forms for us to work from during the next few lessons.