Unit 4 – Ecosystem Interactions
Lesson 4 – Biomes and Habitats
Now that we know about ecosystems, food chains, and food webs and how they interact, let’s learn about specific ecosystems. Habitats are small ecosystems that change from place to place depending on the weather, water availability, and other factors. Plants, animals, water, bacteria, rocks, soil, and other nonliving or living things create a habitat. Habitats are sorted into many different groups, named biomes. Most animals can only live in specific biomes; however, some animals, like birds, can migrate throughout the biomes, depending on the season.
The biomes are:
- Tundra – a large frozen plain; almost like a frozen desert
- Desert – a dry land with extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters
- Tiaga – snowy forest with evergreen trees (trees that do not lose their leaves over winter)
- Savana – A grassy plain with patchy areas that can receive enough water to support small trees.
- Grassland – an area that has little to no trees but has long plains of grasses for animals (There are no trees because there is not enough water to support life for trees. There is enough water to support smaller plants such as bushes, sedges, and grasses.)
- Tropical rainforest – a forest that is very dense with plants and animals (It has constant rain throughout the year)
- Temperate rainforest – there are high levels of rain, the trees in this forest lose their leaves during winter
The choice becomes increasingly challenging but more fun the further you go down.
Choice 2: Glue cards to popsicle sticks and create a puppet show about the food web within your favorite biome.
Choice 3: Create a 3D model of your favorite biome, along with an attached drawing of the food chain within your biome.
Choice 4: Take a field trip and visit a local natural biome. Bring your journal with you and a way to identify plants and animals. See how many plants you can identify. Count how many different species of animals you see. Make sure to research your local biome beforehand to ensure you will know the different animals. Depending on where you live, there can be several biomes very close to you. See how the animals interact with each other and write down what the animal was doing when you saw it.