Beautiful biomes lesson

Years 5 and 6

In this lesson, students learn the features of the five main biomes, and use ClassVR headsets and CoSpaces to design and create a virtual biome to explore.

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    Lesson Plan

    Beautiful biomes

    Years 5 and 6

Learning hook

As a class, watch the Introduction to biomes video. Identify the five main biomes: aquatic, grassland, forest, desert and tundra. Discuss what students already know. Which biomes are they familiar with? Which biomes have they experienced?

Discuss with students what makes a biome, drawing attention to the key features of vegetation, soil, climate and wildlife. Ask students, why is biodiversity important within biomes?


Introduction to Biomes

As a class, watch the Human impacts on biodiversity video to explore how humans affect biomes in both positive and negative ways. Students should then work in small groups to discuss different ways humans are impacting each biome. Then, as a class, compare issues raised in the discussions.

Human Impacts on Biodiversity | Ecology and Environment | Biology | FuseSchool

In small groups, students can find images of different biomes to make a collage using their favourite tool: Canva, Google Slides, Keynote or PicCollage.

Further resources to explore biomes are provided in the Resource section below.

Learning input

Task students with researching one biome, identifying its key features and classifications. They should research the following questions.

  • Where is the biome situated?
  • What plants and animals live in the biome?
  • What is the climate like?
  • What landforms exist in the biome?
  • What actions can we take to protect biodiversity in this biome?

Students can use the HHMI biome viewer to learn more about biome locations, climate and species (also available as an iPad app).

Students can also use ClassVR headsets to view different biomes in VR. In ClassVR there is a Natural Environment playlist, with 20 tracks of different environments available to be viewed. Ask students:

  • What plant life can be seen?
  • What do you think the climate is like in each environment?
  • What type of animals could live here?

Learning construction

Once students have researched their biome, they can build a virtual environment in CoSpaces. If students haven’t used CoSpaces before, they should watch tutorials available on the website, to learn how to create Virtual Reality environments, and explore different projects in the CoSpaces gallery. Students can then select, animate, build and code 3D objects to populate their environment.

Once students have designed their environment, they can share it with peers and teachers.

Students should be encouraged to give each other feedback to improve their projects.

An additional paid feature of CoSpaces is the Merge Cube. With this feature, students can work in small groups to build five biomes on five sides of the cube, with one side for information about how we can protect Earth’s biomes. A short example can be viewed here.

Alternatively, students can make a large cube (approximately 20cm x 20m x 20cm) from card. They can cover then each side with paper and create a 3D representation of the landscape, plants and animals of that biome.

Creations can be shared with other students in a ‘Celebration of Learning’ time.

Creating for the MERGE Cube - CoSpaces Edu Feature Friday