Intro to Biomes – Elementary, Waseca

  • Biology, Ecology 6-9, 9-12
  • The Introduction to the Biomes with Curriculum is an introduction to essential components that constitute a biome. It paves the way to learning complex life processes, in an introductory age-appropriate manner.
Photo of how we stored our curriculum (aff. link)
  • Below, you will find brief illustrated descriptions for each part of the Introduction to the Biomes for Elementary. Please note that Waseca offers similar curriculum for Primary.

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Parts of a Biome

7 three part cards on the parts of a biome
Each label comes with a picture and a description
  • Children learn about the parts of a biome in a logical order. You can print the master blackline drawings for the children to make their own booklet, label it, and write their own definitions.
Children can use the master blackline drawings to create booklets
  • Children learn about soil composition, which plays a crucial role in supporting life. Children can organize three part cards, and read the definition for each layer of the soil. They can create their own booklet using the master blackline drawings provided on the Waseca Biomes website (see example below).
Waseca printables to create booklets

The Nitrogen Cycle and the Carbon Cycle

Each label comes with a picture and a description
  • The Carbon Cycle and Nitrogen Cycle are perpetual life processes necessary for life. Both the Carbon Cycle and the Nitrogen Cycle are explored using 3 part cards, and master blackline drawings. Carbon is introduced as an omnipresent element, which is cycled through air, living organisms, and the soil. Nitrogen is present in the air, transferred through water, captured by the plants, through the soil, then consumed by primary consumers, then other consumers of the food webs. Children learn about processes such as “nitrification” and “denitrification,” which are fascinating to them.
3 part cards

Parts of Vertebrates and Invertebrates

The 5 classes of Vertebrates are represented
  • The curriculum provides a detailed study of the parts of 5 classes of Vertebrates (fish, bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian) and 1 class of Invertebrate (arthropod). This work builds a foundation for understanding how animals adapt in the biomes.
An arthropod is used to represent the parts of an Invertebrate

Vertebrates vs. Invertebrates

(I used pictures from our classrooms materials)

Vertebrates and Invertebrates are present in every biome. The curriculum contains labels to keep this knowledge sharp. You can use your own pictures and objects from your environment to complement this work or you can print pictures from the master blackline drawings available on the Waseca website.

Animal Adaptation

  • Children will love Animal Adaptation. They are presented with 6 situations that require them to guess which adaptation strategy fits which situation. Ex: “Migrate to another place” card would be placed in the category “The temperature is very cold in the winter.” (See examples below).
On the right, the 40 cards that the children will share, read, and sort

Biomes Questions & Answers

Biomes cards horizontally, Biomes conditions vertically
  • This is another work that children will love to do, individually or in small groups. After the Biomes cards are spread horizontally (Wetland, Ocean, Desert.. ), and the question cards have been spread vertically (What is the temperature like in this biome?), children can share and read the set of descriptive cards. For example, if working on moisture in biomes, the children will be working with the set of blue cards. Children will read the definitions and decide which biome is being described (Desert? Ocean? …). Then the children can place the card in the appropriate category. The control is on the back of each card. It’s a great reading exercise as well!
Working with one set of color at a time, starting with “Moisture”

Herbivore, Carnivore, Omnivore

3 labels on top – 16 cards to classify
  • This work helps children understand the food webs and adaptations in biomes by understanding an animal’s morphology, behavior and diet. There are 3 categories (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore), and 16 animal cards to classify. Print pictures from the master blackline drawings file available on the website.

Living and Nonliving

(I used materials from around the classroom)
  • This work helps children distinguish living organisms from nonliving things through sorting pictures or objects. For this work, you need to provide your own pictures or objects. The lesson emphasizes that some nonliving things are essential as they can support life.

Parts of a Globe, Climate Zones

PARTS OF A GLOBE Nomenclature cards
  • This work is also a favorite! Parts of the globe can be taught along with climate zones, and the Sun’s rays master blackline drawings. Children develop an understanding of how the Earth’s position around the Sun affects the biomes. The work consists in learning the parts of a globe using labels, and drawings, and observing and measuring the Sun’s rays crossing the Earth’s atmosphere.
Template to color and label

Flowering and Non-flowering Plants

Flowering vs. None Flowering
(I used my own pictures from Plant Kingdom)
  • For this work, children can go outside to collect specimens of plants. They can sort the plants using the labels “flowering” and “non-flowering” plants. I used pictures from our Plant Kingdom (see picture above). Children gain an appreciation for flowers, which play an important role in biomes. 
You can print these pictures from the Master backline file
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