Learning Resource Type

Lesson Plan

Biomes of the World

Subject Area



9, 10, 11, 12


This is a technology-based Biology lesson on the Biomes of the world. Students will work in groups and research their designated terrestrial biome. Students will research abiotic and biotic factors in their biome. Students will create a digital presentation of their biome using the preferred presentation platform. The presentation will summarize how the abiotic and biotic factors interact in their biome. Students will then use the collected data from the presentations to create food chains and food webs for their designated biomes. 

This lesson plan results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

    Science (2015) Grade(s): 09-12 - Biology


    Develop and use models to illustrate examples of ecological hierarchy levels, including biosphere, biome, ecosystem, community, population, and organism.

    Unpacked Content



    • Ecology
    • Biosphere
    • Biotic factor
    • Abiotic factor
    • Population
    • Biological community
    • Ecosystem
    • Biome
    • Species


    Students know:
    • The biosphere is the portion of the Earth that supports life.
    • The lowest level of organization is the individual organism itself.
    • Individual organisms of a single species that share the same geographical location at the same time make up the population.
    • A group of interacting populations that occupy the same geographical area at the same time is a biological community.
    • An ecosystem is the biological community and all the abiotic factors that affect it (e.g., water temperature, light availability).
    • A biome is a large group of ecosystems that share the same climate and have similar types of communities.


    Students are able to:
    • Organize objects or organisms into levels of hierarchy.
    • Develop a hierarchical classification model using standard language and parameters.


    Students understand that:
    • In order to study relationships within the biosphere, it is divided into smaller levels of organization.
    • The simplest level of organization is the organism, with increasing levels of complexity as the numbers and interactions between organisms increase, shown in the population, biological community, ecosystem, and biome until reaching the most complex level of the biosphere.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Developing and Using Models

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Systems and System Models
    Science (2015) Grade(s): 09-12 - Biology


    Develop and use models to describe the cycling of matter (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, water) and flow of energy (e.g., food chains, food webs, biomass pyramids, ten percent law) between abiotic and biotic factors in ecosystems.

    Unpacked Content



    • Autotroph
    • Heterotroph
    • Primary producer
    • Primary consumer
    • Secondary consumer
    • Tertiary consumer
    • Herbivore
    • Carnivore
    • Omnivore
    • Detritivore
    • Trophic levels: primary, secondary and tertiary
    • Food chain
    • Food web
    • Biomass
    • Energy pyramid
    • Biomass pyramid
    • Number pyramid
    • Matter
    • Nutrient
    • Biogeochemical cycle
    • Nitrogen fixation
    • Denitrification
    • Law of conservation of mass


    Students know:
    • A food chain is a simple model representing the transfer of energy from organism to organism (e.g., sun → plant → grasshopper → mouse → snake).
    • Each step of a food chain represents a trophic level always starting with an autotroph in the first level and heterotrophs in the remaining levels.
    • The overlapping relationships between multiple food chains are shown in a food web.
    • An ecological pyramid is a model that can show the relative amounts of energy, biomass, or numbers of organisms at each trophic level in an ecosystem.
    • In an energy pyramid, only 10% of energy is passed from one trophic level to the next due to loss of energy in the form of heat caused by cellular respiration (10% rule).
    • In a biomass pyramid, the total mass of living matter at each trophic level tends to decrease.
    • In a numbers pyramid, it shows the number of organisms at each trophic level tends to decrease because there is less energy available to support organisms.
    • The exchange of matter through the biosphere is called the biogeochemical cycle and involves living organisms (bio), geological processes (geo), and chemical processes (chemical).


    Students are able to:
    • Use a self-created food web diagram to predict the impact of removing one organism on other organisms within the food web.
    • Use data to create ecological pyramids to show flow of energy, biomass and number of organisms.
    • Model the cycling of matter (e.g., Carbon, water, nitrogen) through the biosphere.
    • Combine a food web diagram with a matter cycling diagram to provide a holistic view of the many aspects that make up an ecosystem.


    Students understand that:
    • Everything in an ecosystem is connected to everything else (both abiotic and biotic), either directly or indirectly.
    • Nutrients, in the form of elements and compounds, flow through organisms in an ecosystem (e.g., grass captures substances from the air, soil and water and converts them into usable nutrients → cow eats the grass → human eats the cow → decomposers return the nutrients to the cycle at every level).

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Developing and Using Models

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter

    Primary Learning Objectives

    The students will:

    • recognize the role of climate in determining the nature of a biological community.
    • compare features of plants and animals found in different biomes.
    • construct models of food chains and food webs in their specific biomes.

    Additional Learning Objective(s)

    The students will use technology as a tool to research, evaluate, and communicate information to others using a digital presentation.


    Step 1- Show the video about Biomes
    This video introduces the viewer/student to the Biomes of Earth. It is designed as a motivational "trailer" to be shown by teachers in elementary school and Biology and Ecology classrooms in middle school, high school and college as a visual introduction to the many types of places that life calls home.


    Research (2 days)
    Assign students to cooperative learning groups of four members. Assign each group one of the terrestrial biomes from the list below.
    • Terrestrial biomes:
    Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Forest, Tropical Forest, Temperate Grassland, Savanna, Chaparral, and Desert.
    The students should find out the following on their Biome.
    1.      Location
    2.      Animals found there.
    3.      Plants found there.
    4.      The climate of their biome including precipitation and temperature.
    Step 2 - Students should research general information about their assigned biome. Students should also find difference pictures of their assigned biomes. 
    Give students these three websites to begin their research
    Step 4 - After students have gathered their research, the students will create a digital presentation using the platform selected by the teacher.
    After the presentations have been created, have each group share their digital presentation with the class on the interactive whiteboard.
    While presentations are being made, the students should take notes on their Biome Worksheet. Biome groups will present their digital presentation to the class.
    The students can complete the Biome Quiz at the end of the presentations and then create a travel brochure highlighting the abiotic and biotic factors of their biome as an extension.

    Assessment Strategies

    Students can be assessed multiple times during the day by monitoring their research and notes taken during the class period. 

    The Biome note-taking worksheet should be graded on completion. The students will be graded on their digital presentation using the rubric provided.

    The students can be assessed on the Biome Quiz at the end of the lesson. 


    In addition to the digital presentation in Haiku Deck of their biome, students could create a travel brochure convincing tourists to plan a trip to their biome.


    Grouping students based on academic strengths and weaknesses will help them in creating their digital presentation and with the research.

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    91 to 120 Minutes

    Background and Preparation


    Make student copies or group copies of the rubric and discuss with the class before the project begins.

    The teacher should select the preferred digital presentation software such as Google Slides, Canva, Microsoft Sway, etc. 

    Give students the Biome Worksheet to take notes on the day of the presentations.


    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    Discuss with students the definition of a Biome. Make student copies of the Biome worksheet for students to take notes on during presentations.

    Biome-  a large region characterized by a specific type of climate and certain types of plants and animals.

    Make student copies or group copies of the rubric and discuss with the class before the project begins.

    Technology Resources Needed

    Interactive whiteboard to model research and/ Haiku Deck for digital presentations.

    Student computers to research the approved websites for their Biomes.