This unit on North American Biomes is a comparative study of each of the Biome’s biotic and abiotic factors. In it we look at representative species of both plants and animals for each of the Biomes and develop food chains from those organisms. Since an understanding of the physical environment is important to the understanding of the special adaptation some plants and animals have evolved with, we also examine such things as temperature ranges, amount of moisture, presence of extremes of winds, sunlight or lack of sunlight, and soil characteristics. Within each area we will focus on the health environment and discuss some of the contemporary problems that each area is facing.
An important part of the unit is the use of hands-on activities that can be incorporated into the lessons. For each Biome there is a special activity that is either observational or participational. In addition each student will produce a biome book of his/her own as a result of a group study of the Biome.
This unit can be used with Life Science students in the seventh, eighth, or ninth grade and can be adapted for a wide range of ability levels within those grades.