BIOMES/ECOSYSTEMS

AN INTERNET BASED LESSON PLAN


Goal:

Students will work in cooperative learning groups to identify and describe various biomes/ecosystems on Earth. Students will utilize the Internet to conduct research on the particularities of each biome and how life varies in different biomes. Ecological problems and hazards facing each biome will also be addressed.

Overview:

Students will discuss the manners in which a geographic environment affects life and then create a list of various types of environmental settings, or ecosystems, that exist on earth. The class will then discuss biomes and be divided into small working groups. Each group will research a virtual expedition into a certain eco-regions of the world. Groups will study each expedition and how life is affected by that region. Students will then make groups presentations on their findings and discuss ecological threats to their region.

Materials:

Computers with Internet access, projection device. 


INVITATION

Students will be asked to brainstorm about ways in which their geographic environment affects their life. They should be encouraged to describe manners in which a geographic environment different from theirs would affect their life and other life forms. A separate brainstorm should then be done listing various types of environmental settings, or ecosystems, that exist on earth. Biome should then be introduced and defined. A discussion contrasting and comparing lifestyles in varying biomes can be encouraged. Students should then be divided into small working groups. Group size to be determined by class size and computer availability, as each group will require use of a computer.

EXPLORATION

Groups will be assigned one of the virtual expedition sites listed below. Each site provides information on a real expedition that was conducted. These sites thus provide visitors with a "virtual expedition" into that region. Each group should visit their expedition site to gather information and obtain links. Groups should record not only information regarding their expedition, but also information about the ecosystem in which their expedition took place, and life in it. Groups should conduct their research with the goal of creating a report that summarizes their expedition, the biome represented, and how life is affected in that region. Students are encouraged to make contrasts with the initial brainstorm list that was made on how life is affected by the biome in which it inhabits.

Note: If any of the links below do not work, go to Adventure on Line, and choose another expedition.

Expedition Sites:

Virtual Galapagos

Expedition Africa (new)

Everest Assault 96

OS2000: Alone in the Arctic (new)

International Greenland Expedition / Arctic Challenge

Journey North (new)

Live from Antarctica 2

Yukon Quest

Each of the expedition sites listed on the previous page contains links to relevant sites that can complement each group's research. Groups should be encouraged to visit additional sites should they desire to focus on a specific subject area within their region. It should be highlighted that their research should include information on how that region affects Life: including humans, animals, plants, aquatic life, etc. Any linked sites that are utilized should be referenced by each group in their report.

In order to obtain further information on the diverse biomes and ecosystems, groups should utilize these sites (which contain links also).

General Reference Biome Sites:

EXPLANATION

After concluding their research, each group should prepare an Expedition Report. Each report should summarize the expedition, describe the respective biome/ecosystem, discuss how the expedition and how life is affected in that biome, and finally present problems faced by that region. Reports are to be presented before the entire class and should incorporate Internet (utilizing projection technology). A written copy of the report is to be turned in. Every member of each group should participate in the creation/presentation process in some form.

TAKE ACTION

Groups could easily conduct additional research into problems that face the presence of life in their biome. Crises situations or other challenges present in each biome could be researched. Such problems can include environmental threats, global warming, deforestation, pollution, human intervention, endangered species, technology, current issues, etc., Possible solutions, legislation, increasing threats, etc., about these situations should also be researched and discussed.

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