Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Science – Habitats and Biomes

Science Sunday

For Science this week, we did an overview of Biomes and Habitats.   This is in preparation for more detailed studies of individual habitats that we will be doing as part of our Continents study.
We started by reading a non-fiction booklet from Science a to z.  We downloaded these when they were offering a free trial (I think just for one day).  The booklet describes the building blocks of habitats (latitude, elevation, climate, land and water, plants and animals) using easy to understand terminology and examples along with some beautiful pictures.  I'm going to take a closer look at their curriculum offerings even though I'm pretty sure we are going to use Real Science Odyssey along with Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding for Science.  I haven't actually purchased RSO yet so it's not too late to change my mind.  ;-)

We briefly went over all the different biomes using the Biomes of the World Picture and Activity Cards from The Teachers Desk.info  .  I think I picked these up (possibly free?) from Currclick during one of the their sales.  They give nice brief descriptions of each major category of biome and the sub-categories of each.  For example, Freshwater biomes are divided into rivers/streams and lakes/ponds.

We played a fun game using headings and animal cards from Kelly’s Kindergarten (although I made a fifth heading for Grasslands) and extra animal cards from File Folder Fun.    I attached each heading to a separate sheet of paper and then showed the kids each animal card, one at a time.  They then had to tell me what biome it belonged in.  If they weren’t sure, we would look up the animal in our Animal Encyclopedia and discuss it until we figured out where it belonged.  Georgie probably knew 95% of these without looking them up.  Something that I was VERY surprised at.  Turns out it was from a combination of Animal Genius for his Leapster (which he just received for Christmas but has been playing quite a bit) and watching Diego. 

Even Vicki knew a few besides the very obvious Ocean ones (I’m sure thanks to Diego).
Georgie was very excited when he “won” this game (playing against Vicki & I) because he had the most animals on his biomes.  Of course it wasn’t exactly fair since he had Desert, Rainforest and Ocean while Vicki and I just had Tundra and Grasslands.  Vicki didn’t seem to mind “losing” though, so I just let Georgie have his excitement.
Georgie finished up by drawing an imaginary animal (in his case an alien) and its habitat. 

His description of his critter - an alien with this many legs, and 1,2,3,4,5,6 arms and a big body and one eye.  He has three heads and three ears, and a fourth ear with a smiley face.  And coming out of where the face is looking is a picture of its favorite food - bananas!  Actually it's his favorite video game - Pacman!  And coming out the other side is their other favorite video game guy - the ghost. (Georgie received a Pacman video game that hooks up to the tv for Christmas and yeah, he's been playing it a lot). 

This guy has to watch out for elephants, other aliens and cows.  Elephants use their trunks to strangle them.  The other aliens laugh at them "you're not good at soccer - ha ha ha" (???)  and the cows squirt milk at them.  And he only has 3 lives.  He lives on some kind of planet and his home is a giant rocket ship.  The bottom is two points and it has five windows that he can look outside to watch out for elephants and cows.  The doorway is right there at the bottom.

He has his own refrigerator in his house which has his own food and water.  His food, he eats two kinds of food - he lives in a game and he eats eggs and Pacman and he has to watch out for ghosts.  This is how big he grew when he ate his first food, which was Pacman and when he got tired of that, he had eggs.  The End.

We also watched The Magic School Bus Hops Home and read What is a Biome? by Bobbie Kalman, which we will continue to refer back to as we go through each habitat.
Magic School Bus: Hops Home [VHS]What Is a Biome? (The Science of Living Things)


  1. How fun! I love the resources that you used! (I'll have to jot them down as I plan to do biomes with my 2 youngest sometime this spring.)

    Jessy - Science Sunday

  2. I love how Geogie created his own animal and placed it in its' habitat! What a wonderful way to assess his understanding of this study. Thank you for sharing.