Introduction to Biomes for Middle School Science + a FREEBIE

Do you teach about biomes and don't know where to begin? I got you! Biomes can be overwhelming to teach because there is SO much information out there. It might seem near impossible to narrow down the topic and weed out any unnecessary information. We want students to focus on the most important concepts of biomes, which can be tricky.

The first concept we need to focus on is what determines the type of biome. That's pretty simple: 1. the climate (specifically the amount of rainfall) and 2. the types of organisms that live there (specifically the adaptations they have that allow them to survive in that particular biome). If you want to get technical, there are other sub factors under climate that also give the biome its characteristics, but this is middle school so we don't need to go too much in depth.

In this freebie, the focus is on climate as well as plant and animal adaptations for each of the 7 biomes. The activity is meant to give students a quick overview of the biomes as an introduction. Let's look at what is included and how to use each part.

Reading Passage:
    There are 3 pages of information on each of the 7 biomes (deciduous forest, desert, marine, rainforest, taiga, temperate grasslands, & tundra). Each biome contains information about climate and a few common plant and animal adaptations as well as a small map showing where each biome can be found.

Comprehension Questions:
    There is a page of comprehension questions based on the reading passage. Students will need to either highlight or underline where they found the answers to the questions in the passage; they are essentially proving their answers. 
    TIP: Your reading teachers will love you because proving answers is a key concept they teach to help students with reading comprehension.

Writing Prompt:
    There is a writing prompt where students must summarize the biomes discussed in the reading passage.
    TIP: If you want to have students research other information about the biomes to include in their writing composition, go for it! That might give them a bit more to work with when they compose their writing.
    TIP: Again, writing is a very important skill that students seem to lack. This is a great way to incorporate cross-curricular activities into your science class.

Word Search:
    There is a fun word search included as a bonus activity. It can be used for early finishers, or you could give a couple points extra credit for finishing it. 

Colorful and Blank Maps:
    There is a colorful world map that shows where each biome is located. There is also a blank map where you could have your students color. Using color for diagrams and maps has been proven to help with information retention. Having students color the map themselves is a double win to help them remember the general area of the biomes.
    TIP: If you use interactive science composition notebooks, you could shrink the maps so they can glue them in their notebooks after coloring.

Answer Keys:
    Last but not least is... answer keys! In this freebie, there are answer keys for EVERYTHING, even where students should be highlighting to show proof for the comprehension questions. I know how little time teachers have to come up with an answer key, so all of that is included!

HACK: If you're one of those teachers who doesn't directly teach biomes (maybe it was taught last year or it will be taught in the next grade level), you can still use it for an educational time filler. Need something to fill a day before the holidays? This is perfect! Need something educational to do after state testing? This is perfect!

HACK: This resource is also great for emergency sub plans. It will take at least an hour to complete AND you won't need to plan for a sub; just print and go!

Are you ready to give this resource a try? It is FREE after all! Grab yours today!👇

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