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Educator's Guide

Introduction :

Bits of Biomes has been developed for a middle school grade science curriculum (appropriate for grades 5-8). This Web-based resource can be used in a variety of instructional settings ranging including a one-computer classroom, a three-computer classroom, and a networked computer lab. Bits of Biomes was pilot tested in a three computer classroom setting with and without Internet connections. In classrooms without Internet access, students obtain data in the school library.

Purpose :

Bits of Biome activities provide a learning environment through an inquiry-based approach that includes purposeful exploration and decision making while using science process skills and hands-on experiences.  Activities are intended for use by both teachers and students.  

In Bits of Biome students are guided to investigate characteristics of biomes. Students explore climatic differences, populations, and ecosystems in terrestrial biomes.

The activities in Bits of Biomes have been developed in accordance with the National Science Education Standards.

Guiding Question :

To begin Bits of Biomes, introduce this guiding question to your students:
"Do selected cities in our study really exhibit the characteristic climatic conditions of their defined biome?"  

Instructional Tasks :

Students collect climatic data on selected cities within each biome. They use spreadsheets to explore their patterns in their climatic data. Climatic data in different biomes are compared.  Student groups research characteristics of their biome. These include people and culture, animal life (vertebrates and invertebrates), plant life and economic conditions. Each student group contributes a section to a class "World Travel Book". The "World Travel Book" can be a class Web site, a hypermedia artifact, or a traditional paper artifact.

Throughout the implementation of this unit, students participate in hands-on experiments that focus their learning on topics that include habitats, predator/prey relationships, adaptations to environments, and food chains.


Introduction | What are biomes? | Middle School Student | Whole Group Discussion | Teacher Resources | References
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