Jubilee Summer Science Camp 2011 Day 2: Habitats/Biomes Lesson Plan

Kelley Jacobs Objective: SWBAT to “think like a scientist” (using the inquiry method of science) to identify characteristics and/or objects from each of the earth’s biomes. (Savannah, Marine, Freshwater, Tundra, Woodland, Desert)


Life Processes

This strand focuses on the life processes of plants and animals and the specific needs of each. The major topics developed in the strand include basic needs and life processes of organisms, their physical characteristics, orderly changes in life cycles, behavioral and physical adaptations, and survival and perpetuation of species. This strand includes science standards K.6, 1.4, 1.5, 2.4, 3.4, and 4.4.

Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic

This strand represents a set of systematic inquiry skills that defines what a student should be able to do when conducting activities and investigations. The various skill categories are described in the “Investigate and Understand” section of the Introduction to the Science Standards of Learning, and the skills in science standard 5.1 represent more specifically what a student should be able to do as a result of science experiences in fifth grade. Across the grade levels, the skills in the “Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic” strand form a nearly continuous sequence of investigative skills. (Please note Appendix, “Science Skills, Scope, & Sequence.”) It is important that the classroom teacher understands how the skills in standard 5.1 are a key part of this sequence (i.e., K.1, K.2, 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, and 6.1).

Living Systems

This strand begins in second grade and builds from basic to more complex understandings of a system, both at the ecosystem level and at the level of the cell. The concept of kingdoms of living things and a general classifying of organisms are also presented. The other major topics developed in the strand include the types of relationships among organisms in a food chain, different types of environments and the organisms they support, and the relationship between organisms and their nonliving environment. This strand includes science standards 2.5, 3.5, 3.6, 4.5, 5.5, and 6.7.

Life Science SOL’s LS.1-LS.4

Materials needed:

  • white paper plates
  • crayons
  • markers
  • colored pencils
  • white construction or computer paper scissors
  • pencils
  • cups thermometer ice
  • heat lamp (anything that can heat water, not too hot!)
  • model magic clay (multiple assorted packs)
  • copies of handouts (biome map, habitat coloring pages and handouts from Habitat Spy Teaching Activities book)

Specific items needed (listed by biome): At least one item from each category is needed but as many as can be found is appreciated! Also, realistic plastic animals can be found at target, little dickens, and ac moore. Others might be found at the dollar store.

Biome Plastic Animal (any 2 please!) Food Sign or temperature of water Plant/items found in the habitat Clothing item
Savannah Lion Zebra Cobra Gazelle Figs, tamarind candy (found at Kroger in the internationa l food aisle with hispanic foods), yams Warm water Grass, Trees (model) sunglasses
Freshwater Alligator Crocodile Turtle
Swedish fish candy Room temperature Cottontails, long grass, mud, plastic flying bugs like mosquito, dragon flies Fishing hat or rain boots
Marine Shark Whale Shrimp Sand dollar eels clam Nori, dried seaweed wraps used for sushi, fish warm Seashells, sand, assortment of plastic fish swimsuit
Desert Lizard roadrunner brown fox owl
coyote rattlesnake
Agave nectar Very hot and not much water Cacti, sand, rocks, tumbleweeds made out of raffia or other craft material Tank top
Forest Brown Bear red fox birds rabbit blackberries Room temperature Long grass, trees, moss, lichen, logs, sticks, branches Hat, long sleeve shirt
Tundra Polar Bear Penguin Seal Walrus Raspberries (to be “arctic raspberries “) Ice cold! Ice, styrofoam to make icebergs Wool cap

Whole group introduction: Dr. Woody McKenzie discussing habitats and what our habitat is around us.

Further whole group introduction: Using computer/projector/internet set up, we will use (Sylvan Dell is a publisher of science/math e-books. TCMESI has a grant to use these in our schools with site license LTF6ZV). Students will discuss the pictures and listen to the audio from the book: Habitat Spy. See Teaching Guide for discussions/activities for this book.

Small Group Activity:

  • Students will be broken into 6 groups. Each group will be given a biome (word habitat may be used for younger children). Students should not tell other groups which biome they have.
  • Students, with teacher assistance, will map out perceived and known characteristics for each biome in their groups.
  • Students will be instructed to find items on plates that they think fit in their biome. Students should discuss the following:
    • Why does the object belong in our biome? What characteristics does the object have that makes it seem to fit?
    • What other objects would fit in this biome, besides those provided?
  • Students will use model magic clay to make other items that could fit in the biome.
  • Students will be shown how to make a “Who am I?” box booklet. In this booklet, the center will be the name of the biome. Items/characteristics of the biome as discovered through the lesson will be drawn in the boxes.
  • Students will share their items and their booklets with the entire group.

Further activities:

  1. Have the students create a biome for their animal by drawing the biome on the white paper plate.
  2. Complete pages 26, 27, and 28 from the Habitat Spy Teaching Guide which extends the lessons on discussing habitats, needs of living things, and animal adaptation (teacher can lead discussion on these topics prior to completing their activity.