By:  Wendy Marsters, Paradise High School






Coniferous Forest



This is a great lesson for kids new to the internet.  They will utilize links, searches, and transferring images.  I use this lesson to summarize a biome unit and the kids create great posters and presentations.  Enjoy!
Subject :  Ecology
Topic: Biomes
Grade Level: 9-10
Student Lesson name and URL:
Standards Addressed

Grades: 9-10
Science: Focus on Ecology

6. Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing effects. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know biodiversity is the sum total of different kinds of organisms and is affected by alterations of habitats.

b. Students know how to analyze changes in an ecosystem resulting from changes in climate, human activity, introduction of nonnative species, or changes in population size.

f. Students know at each link in a food web some energy is stored in newly made structures but much energy is dissipated into the environment as heat. This dissipation may be represented in an energy pyramid.

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Instructional Objectives
  1. Students will be able to identify climate and topography as the two major defining factors of a biome.
  2. After searching through resources, such as the Internet and books, students will identify specific characteristics, such as the flora and fauna, of their particular biome.
  3. Students will describe the major environmental issues that affect their chosen biome.
  4. Students will discover how flora and fauna must adapt to changes in their environment because of human activities.
  5. Students will explain how subtle changes in climate can affect their biome in severe ways.
  6. Students will assess human activities and their effects on their biome. 
  7. Students will develop a food web using the flora and fauna of their biome.
  8. Students will analyze and describe the energy flow of a food web. 
  9. Students will construct a presentation poster on the characteristics of their biome according to the assignment specifications.
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Student Activities
For an introductory activity, students will create a list of characteristics about the area in which they live.  Have a discussion as to why certain plants and animals only live in certain areas.  For an enabling activity, students will create a food web including energy flow .  The culminating activity is the creation of a poster and presentation of their selected biome. 

Introductory Activity
Have students make a list of all of the plants and animals that live in your area.  Also have them make a list of words that describe the topography of your area.  Then choose an animal that obviously would not live in your area.  Ask the kids why that animal would never live there.  You are trying to connect the idea that the plants and animals of a biome are directly related to the climate and topography of that biome.
A polar bear would never live in the desert!  Why?

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Enabling Activity
Create a food web using the plants and animals of your biome.  Students must show energy arrows.  They must include the flow of energy and how it diminishes at each level.
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Culminating Activity
For this unit, students will be creating a poster and presentation about their chosen biome.  They will present their posters to the class and be prepared to answer questions from other students.  The poster will include the following about their biome:
  • Wildlife
  • Plants
  • Climate
  • Topography
  • Food web and Energy flow diagram
  • Environmental issues
  • How plants and animals adapt to environmental issues
  • How plants and animals are uniquely adapted to their specific biome.
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The student's biome poster
will contain:
Lists of components outlined in
assignments handout.  (Plants,
animals, climate, and topography
An explanation of the major 
environmental issues of their
Examples of how plants adapt to
the major environment issues of
their biome.
Examples of how animals adapt to
the major environmental issues
of their biome.
Examples and explanations of how 
plants are uniquely adapted to 
their biome.
A Food Web using arrows to show the transfer
of energy
Use of color
1= Below standards
2= Meets standards
3= Exceeds standards
4= Outstanding,  you've blown the standards away
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After implementing your lesson (sometime between January & March), insert a chart of your pre-test, post-test, and culminating assessment data.
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Web Resources & Supplementary Materials

Enabling Avtivity
The following sites are excellent resources to gather general information for food webs and biomes

Culminating Activity
The following sites are more specific.  They will be helpful for finding human activities that effect their biome, environmental issues, and special adaptations for plant and animals.

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Final Presentation

Paradise High School
Paradise, Ca
Last Revised: 06/04/2001