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Biomes Lesson Plan AnalysisAssessment

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¶ … thematic unit about Biomes. It is in summary an assessment for special education high school students who are capable of reading and writing. The thematic unit that needs to be investigated in this paper will be identified as Learning Target. A description of the thematic unit as well as the course objectives for this particular topic will be given. A summary/conclusion is given at the end.

Thematic Unit: Learning Target

Lesson Title: Biological elements

What are Biomes?

Biomes are defined as "the earth's major ecological communities." Biomes are classified according to the most common vegetation found in the area and characterized based on the adaptations of organisms to that specific geographical environment. The significance of biomes in the world should be estimated (The Worlds Biomes). In the history of life in the world, biomes have changed and moved numerous times, lately, human activities have significantly altered the composition and location of biomes. Therefore, the conservation of biomes should be an important concern to all.

Unit Description:

In this particular lesson students name or rather identify the major biomes in the world and study one biome and its characteristics. Students will also create a map showing the location and major characteristics of all the major biomes as part of their learning experience. Students will also have to write a paragraph describing the temperature and climate of each biome (Elements of Biology: Biomes).

Materials required:

A large world map

Multiple colored pencils and markers


An internet connected computer

Print resources such as encyclopedias and atlases

Elements of Biology: Biomes video

The lesson should begin by playing to the students the video titled: Elements of Biology: Biomes. The students should be told to focus and take notes of the following segments of the video "The Temperate Zone," "Tundra and Taiga," and "Deserts and Tropics." Upon the end of the video, a brief discussion should be held with the students concerning biomes. It is important to make sure that the students understand that a biome is basically a major ecological community that is characterized by its organisms defined by the prevailing climatic conditions. A class list should then be made with the participation of the students detailing the major biomes in the world. The students should then be separated in groups of five or six and each group should be assigned one biome on the class list. The groups should then be tasked to draw a map of the assigned biomes and include the following components in the map (Elements of Biology: Biomes):

The location of the biome

To code using different colors the climate and vegetation of the biome

To draw a representation of the animals that live in that particular biome

Enough time should be allowed to the students to work on the maps. The students should also be informed that they can find outline maps on this website: http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/. They should also be informed that there are numerous reference books such as atlases and encyclopedias that also have this information and that they should refer to such authentic material, too. After the groups of students have drawn the biome maps, each group should be told to write a paragraph that describes the biome and include information such as its temperature, climate and unique characteristics. In the next class, each group of students should share its map with the class through a presentation (Elements of Biology; Biomes). At the end of the presentations, the maps should be posted on the bulletin board so that students can have a visual display of the biomes and their diversity. This lesson should then be concluded by asking the students what they learned about biomes after completing the map-drawing activity. Questions such as, what do they understand now that they didn't understand before and if they now appreciate the diversity of the major regions of the world, should be asked. The students should also be asked to ponder on how geography affects the living conditions of people around the world. Finally, the students should be asked to write a report on the biome that they drew about.

The written reports should then be assessed in the following manner utilizing three-point rubric to examine their understanding during the lesson (Elements of Biology; Biomes).

3 points: For students, who identified all the seven biomes; created an accurate and informative map for their group and significantly contributed to the group's descriptive paragraph.

2 points: for students who identified at least five of the seven biomes; created an adequate map for their group; and contributed to the group's adequate/satisfactory paragraph.

1 point: for students who identified less than four of the seven biomes; did not contribute to the group for the creation of the map; and did not make any contributions to the group's paragraph.

Vocabulary To Be Included (Elements of Biology: Biomes):

Biome: A major ecological community that is characterized by its organisms and climate.

Desert: This is the driest biome; it is composed of arid lands often with sparse vegetation and not more than 10 inches of rainfall per year.

Deciduous forests: A biome found in North America, Western Europe, Australia, and Asia, it often features a moist, temperate climate.

Grasslands: A biome often found in temperate climates such as the American Midwest, steppes in Eurasia and the pampas of South America.

Savannah: A biome found in tropical latitudes featuring long dry seasons, grass, and shrubs.

Taiga: A biome that is located immediately south of the tundra featuring very low temperatures during winter, short seasons for vegetation growth and forests made of coniferous trees.

Tropical forest: A biome that is located near the equator characterized by a hot and wet climate.

Tundra: A biome found on the northernmost area of the globe featuring long and cold winters and very short summers.

Oceans: This is the largest biome in the world and it is comprised of extremely large water bodies that dominate two thirds of the surface of the Earth.

Other vocabulary to be covered should include rivers, mountains, and plains.

Instructional Objective:

2 CCL's that the unit is aligned to are (New York State P-12 Common Core):

Determine the context/meaning of the terms used in the text, including their connotative and figurative meanings; study the additive impact of word choices used in meaning and tone; for example how the language used brings out a sense of time and location, how it sets a friendly or formal tone)

1. The development of word knowledge is a slow and cumulative process that requires multiple exposures to those particular words. This does not just entail repeating the word and its definition or synonym many times but rather, it involves the students seeing and hearing the word in a variety of contexts. Students should have the ability to demonstrate their understanding by using the vocabulary in different contexts.

2. Students will have to have the capability of using the vocabulary learned in this unit and applying them when writing the descriptive paragraph on their maps.

3. Students will also have to demonstrate an understanding of the video (visual media) and specific words used within the context of the video as they are applied in this unit.

4. Finally, students will also have to demonstrate a comprehension or understanding of the vocabulary in their final written report describing the biome, they had been assigned.

Strong and thorough text-based evidence should be cited to support analysis of the meaning of the text both explicitly and in terms of inferences, and a determination of instances where the text leaves things uncertain.

1. A discussion should be done on the biome report regarding the effects of human activity on the biome and the factors that are contributing to the destruction of that particular biome (if any) and its populations (ALEX Lesson Plan). Students should have the capability of showing the impacts of humans on the biomes.

2. Students should also prove that they can properly cite texts they use in their reports.

3. If a text leaves matters uncertain students should have the ability to make proper inferences on what that could be the case.

4. Students should go through their notes during the lesson because these would form important parts of the report they are going to write. They should also be able to cite the materials shown in class.


1. The amount of detail given to students leaves very little room for "education." It does not allow sufficient participation of the students to draw out their unique skills or talents. There is not enough time or space for teachers to prepare a thorough curriculum or to accommodate for the students' varying developmental capabilities (Ravitch, 2012). In this lesson, for instance, there is a lot of use of prescribed media and not enough space for the teacher to say or teach what he or she personally knows about the subject.

2. Practically, preparations for examinations on common core standards will soon become the sole agenda or mission for school (Ravitch, 2012).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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