Let your classroom be a learning biosphere with a biomes classroom theme.
One way to approach this idea is to separate your classroom into five, six, seven, or eight sections, giving each the label of one of the biomes you’re studying. You can create a cave with a refrigerator box and kraft paper, a tropical rainforest with fabric vines and artificial flowers, or a coral reef with clay and blue Sara Wrap. Of course, you can also go two dimensional with murals.
Here’s the list if you use the six divisions:
- Forest (including temperate forests and jungles)
Here’sthe list if you go with eight:
- taiga (coniferous forest)
- grassland (savannah)
- tropical rain forest (jungle)
- scrub forest (chapparal)
Frankly, the list in your textbook might not match either of these lists. We’ve found lists with as few as five and lists with as many as fifteen, and often the biomes they list are different even if the number is the same. Match your textbook, follow the list in your state standards, or pick your favorites!
Divide your class into one group for each biome, and let each group research and decorate one area in the style of their biome. Provide plenty of art supplies: kraft paper, paints, recyclables, etc. Make clear any restrictions on the creations (for example, the kinds of materials students may use for attaching their visual elements to walls or bulletin boards, whether they can incorporate classroom furniture into their creation, etc.).
Give several class periods for research, planning, and creating the various biomes, and then have each group present its biome to the class. The group should explain the primary features of the biome they chose, and explain how they determined which visual elements to use to represent each feature.
Use our Biome Creation worksheet to guide and assess the process.
Another approach would be to give each subject area its own biome. Combine Under Sea bulletin board paper with the highly realistic Ocean Plants & Animals Mini Bulletin Board to create a science marine habitat. Use the Discover Music Bulletin Board Set by Trend with its toucans to make a rainforest music biome. Put math in the desert and English in the forest.
- What’s It Like Where You Live? is a kid-friendly website from the Missouri Botanical Garden with lots for younger students to explore.
- The University of California Museum of Paleontology has a very informative site.
- NASA’s Mission: Biomes has interactive elements and lots of cool stuff to study.
- DigitalPencil has an interactive site on biomes.