8-10 yrs old
11-13 yrs old
Students examine the impact modern civilization has on the environment and design a biome that harmonizes the balance between humans and nature.
October 12, 2018
BBC Biomes of the World
Excellent resource for age-appropriate information on biomes.
National Geographic Reference
Changes to habitats (whether caused by natural or human means) can affect plants and animals and the relationships between them.
Society relies on plants and animals.
MISSION 4 - Biome Investigation
As advancing ecologists, you will now investigate the major biomes found on earth. Biomes are large areas that have similar temperature, plants and animals. Forests or Wetlands are examples of biomes.
Using a blank sheet of paper and the sources (books, websites) provided, find five (5) important points from all the major biomes (7) on earth. Each biome should have the following information:
1. The biome location on earth (is it located mostly in North America?)
2. The average temperature (in degrees)
3. A food web with at least 5 plants/animals
4. 1 common plant (one or two interesting facts)
5. 1 common animal (one or two interesting facts)
6. 1 interesting fact. Example: Did you know that Wetlands act as a big filter? They help clean water to make it safer for plants and animals to drink.
7. Draw a picture (or write a point) of a negative human impact on your biome. Give an example of how we can help improve it! (for example, planting trees can help forests)
Point form notes are fine. Your notes should be legible and neatly organized. When you finish researching all 5 biomes, please complete part 2 below:
When you’ve investigated all 7 biomes, narrow your results down to 1. Choose the one that most interests you!
Add 3 more points to the list you have generated. These points can be ones you find interesting. I like to start with “Did you know…”
Part 3: Human Impact
We’re now getting to the important part of our biome investigation. With 8 billion human beings on the planet, we’ve begun to tax our resources. Every biome on earth is in danger of losing important plants and animals. Farming, forestry, mining, pollution and home building are all examples of the impact humans have on a biome.
In your biome choose 3 (three) human impacts and explain why humans might be doing to the environment and how we can help. Please be detailed!
Forests - Humans are cutting down forests for wood to build homes. This is reducing the number of trees in forests, eliminating valuable living space for animals. We can help by planting new trees and monitoring the number of trees we’re cutting down each year.
Part 4: Build a model
After you have identified 3 (three) human impacts on your biome, it’s now time to build a model of it. You want to represent your biome (both good and bad) in picture and virtual form.
Minecraft: In creative mode, make a model of your chosen biome. Using your research, try to replicate the world as realistically as possible. For example, if you have decided to do a tropical forest (jungle) then make sure your world is densely forested and includes lots of plants and animals. Deserts would have lots of sand, a few plants and little water. Coral reefs, well, that’s a hard one!
You also need to replicate some part of the world where human impact has occurred. Deforestation, pollution, over hunting/fishing, building houses are all examples of human impact.
IMPORTANT: When your world is complete, save it. You’ll need to take a tour of the world using screen shots. Save these shots to your camera roll and get ready import them into Explain Everything.
Pictures - Use the provided resources to locate pictures that represent your biome. Include at least 3 (three) different plants and animals. Also show the human impact on this biome in the form of pictures.
3. Documentary: It’s now time to complete the project by putting the final touches on your documentary. Using the model images from Minecraft, the pictures you found from the web and Explain Everything, create a documentary similar to the one shown in class (Planet Earth). Your documentary must cover the following:
* Identify the biome
* The biome location on earth (is it located mostly in North America?)
* The average temperature
* 1 common plant
* 1 common animal
* 4 interesting facts. Example: Did you know that Wetlands act as a big filter? They help clean water to make it safer for plants and animals to drink.
* 3 human impacts and how we can help
Link to rubric
Sign up for the Minecraft: Education Edition newsletter. We promise to respect your inbox.