Biomes Diorama Project

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Objective

SWBAT research one specific biome, identifying various components within it.

Big Idea

This is a multiple day project resulting in an oral presentation, as well as a 3D diorama of a specific biome.

Engage

5 minutes

Teacher Tip: This is the culminating project in the unit.  It involves students researching a specific biome individually and creating a Google Slides presentation which they will present to the class. It also involves the creation of a diorama which depicts various organisms within the biome. This project addresses the following standards: MS-LS2-3, which identifies the connectivity or organisms with their non-living environment. It also addresses the following writing standards as students are researching and completing the presentation portion of the project: W.6.2b and W.6.2c. Materials needed for the project include: a device with internet access for each student, a shoebox for each student, various craft supplies (tissue paper, scissors, pipe cleaners, string, markers, etc).

To begin the lesson, students answer the following question on their student notes sheet individually: 

ENGAGE: What is a biome and how is it different from a habitat?

Explore

30 minutes

To introduce the students to the biomes they will be selecting from for the project, I show them a quick video for each one.  

The videos are from Brainpop.com*, which does require a subscription, however, you could substitute any video that covers the basics of the following biomes. Students write down an interesting fact next to each one after viewing the video:

EXPLORE: Watch the video for each biome below. After you are finished, choose which one you will research.

I choose… , because…

After viewing the videos, have the students make their selection by choosing the biome they want to research and explaining why. 

* Some possible alternatives:

  • How Stuff Works has several biomes videos.
    • Introduction
    • Desert
    • Savanna
    • Temperate Forest
    • Temperate Grassland
  • Watch Know Learn has compiled several biomes videos and interactives.
  • Introduction to Biomes – this is a Frank Gregorio video, which means it is lush and beautiful but not narrated. It could be initially shown with the music and titles, and then go back, turn off sound and stop and start. (If you haven’t seen Frank Gregorio’s videos, you might want to check them out!)
  • Biomes Our Earth’s Major Life Zones
  • The 7 Land Biomes

Explain

5 minutes

Next, I spend a few minutes explaining the procedure for completing the project: 

EXPLAIN: The Project Procedure

  1. Complete the research portion of the project using the template provided and the websites.

  2. Create your google slides presentation according to the template.

  3. Construct your diorama depicting a scene from your biome.

Elaborate

60 minutes

Finally, the students get to work completing their research, using these websites to help them. They follow the chart to input their research and organize their information found in the ELABORATE section of their notes sheet. Refer to sample student work for an example of completed research. 

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