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Biomes of the Earth   Tags: 7th grade, science  

Biomes are major regional ecosystems, discernible at the global level, which can be best defined as groups of distinctive plant and animal communities that are well adapted to their distinctive physical and climatic environments.
Last Updated: May 18, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Biomes of the Earth Print Page

Biomes - Brochure

Biomes Brochure

Purpose: To identify components of an ecosystem; to describe how organisms including producers, consumers, and decomposers live together in an environment and use existing resources; and to describe how different environments support different varieties of organisms.

Biomes to research:

  • Chaparral
  • Coniferous Forest (Taiga)
  • Desert (Hot and Dry)
  • Desert (Semiarid)
  • Rainforest
  • Temperate Deciduous Forest
  • Tropical Savannah
  • Tundra
  • Grasslands (North American focus)

What to do: To conduct the research using the web to locate information about the biome you have been assigned. Make sure you gather information about:

  • Weather and climate
    • Temperature range
    • Annual precipitation
    • Winds
  • Landforms
    • Mountains or lack of
    • Major bodies of water
    • Canyons
    • Islands
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Adaptations needed for pants and animals to survive the biome
  • Relationships
    • Predator-prey
    • Competition
    • Symbiosis
  • Limiting factors
    • Biotic
    • Abiotic
  • Ecological concerns or issues
    • Over harversting of resources
    • Human impact
    • Pollution
    • Invasive or alien species
    • Climate change

    Common Core State Standards

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.b: Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.7: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.8Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.10: By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    Citation and Plagiarism Resources on the Internet



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    Biomes of the Earth

    Online information

    The following is a list of online resources you can look at to get information about volcanoes. This information has either been purchase through our access to online databases, or we have vetted the sites for their validity, reliability, and accuracy.

    • EbscoHost (Student Resource Center)
      You'll find information in here on biomes. Click on Student Resource Center for easiest navigation.
    • Encyclopedia Britannica
      Britannica has a great article on all biomes as well as tons of images and videos you can watch to learn more.
    • Grolier Online
      Grolier Online features several articles on biomes, arranged by reading level. For a bigger challenge, switch to high school at the top.
    • Science Online
      Want something a little more intellectually rigorous? Try Science Online. The essays on the various biomes are thorough.
    • Today's Science
      News about biomes in the last few months can be found here, in Today's Science.

    Biomes General Information

    • What is a biome video
      This is a video from Discovery Channel's How Stuff Works on what is a biome.
    • University of California's biomes
      This page provides links to information about 5 major biomes: Desert, Aquatic, Grasslands, Forests and Tundra.
    • Biomes game from NASA
      Consult this page and apply your knowledge of biomes by completing each mission.
    • Introduction to Biomes
      This page from Science Online introduces biomes and provides an extensive list of videos available on each.
    • Biomes Summary
      A useful chart that compares all of the biomes
    • Biome map and information
      Click on a biome for more information, informative videos, and links to scientist profiles, travel information, lesson plans and species profiles for each region.


    Coniferous Forest (Taiga)

    Desert (Hot and Dry)

    Desert (Semi-Arid)

    • Information about semi-arid deserts
      A page full of information on deserts. Click on the links to the left side to learn more about animals and plants who live here.
    • Information about deserts
      This page is full of images and graphs as well as text related to the desert biome, from Marietta College's biology department.

    Grasslands (North America Focus)


    • Definition of Rainforest
      This link leads to a definition of rainforest, from Science Online.
    • Student-friendly rainforest page
      This is a student friendly web page on rainforests, from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
    • Information about the rainforest
      A page full of information on rainforests. Click on the links to the left side to learn more about animals and plants who live here.
    • Images of the rainforest
      Along with information on the rainforest gathered during a trip to Costa Rica, you will find many images that show some of the plant and animal life who live there. This page is from Marietta College's biology department.

    Temperate Deciduous Forest

    Tropical Savanna

    • Definiton of Savanna
      This is a definition of savanna, from Science Online.
    • Student-friendly savanna page
      This is a student friendly web page on the savanna, from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
    • Information about the Savanna
      A page full of information on the savanna. Click on the links to the left side to learn more about animals and plants who live here.
    • The Savanna biome
      A web page full of images and graphs as well as text about the savanna from Marietta College's biology department.


    • Video on the Tundra Biome
      From Science Online, here is a 3 minutes video on the tundra biome, along with links to other videos and articles dealing with the tundra.
    • Tundra Ecosystem
      Read all about the tundra and its ecosystem in this article from Science Online.
    • The Tundra Biome
      A web page full of images and graphs as well as text about the tundra from Marietta College's biology department.
    • Student-friendly tundra page
      This is a student friendly web page on the tundra, from the University of Santa Barbara.
    • Information about the Tundra
      A page full of information on the tundra. Click on the links to the left side to learn more about animals and plants who live here.

    Books on Biomes of the Earth

    Cover Art
    Biomes and Habitats - Thomson Gale Staff (Contribution by); Philip Whitfield; Peter D. Moore; Barry Cox
    Call Number: 577.8 WHI
    ISBN: 0028656334
    Publication Date: 1905-06-01
    Photographs, text, maps, and illustrations trace the changing patterns of life on Earth, considering both physical forces and biological processes on the global, habitat, and niche levels.

    Cover Art
    Prairies - Lynn M. Stone
    Call Number: 574.5 STO
    ISBN: 0865924465
    Publication Date: 1989-01-01
    Examines the prairie as an ecological niche and describes the plant and animal life supported there.

    Cover Art
    Arctic Tundra - Lynn M. Stone
    Call Number: 574.5 STO
    ISBN: 0865924368
    Publication Date: 1988-01-01
    Examines the arctic tundra as an ecological niche and describes the plant and animal life supported there.

    Cover Art
    The Young Oxford Book of Ecology - Michael Scott
    Call Number: 574.5 SCO
    ISBN: 0195211677
    Publication Date: 1995-12-28
    Describes various earth habitats and the life supported by them, including desert, ocean, and prairie.

    Cover Art
    An Arctic Tundra Food Chain - A. D. Tarbox
    Call Number: 577.5 TAR
    ISBN: 9781583415962
    Publication Date: 2008-07-01
    Text and photographs describe arctic tundra animals and examine their place in the food chain.

    Cover Art
    Taiga - Elizabeth Kaplan
    Call Number: 574.5 KAP
    ISBN: 0761401350
    Publication Date: 1996-03-01
    Describes climate, soil, seasons, and landscape of the world's largest continuous biome which spans the Northern Hemisphere across Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia.

    Cover Art
    Northern Forests - Robert Snedden
    Call Number: 577.4 SNE
    ISBN: 158340385x
    Publication Date: 2003-08-01
    Examines the great evergreen forests of the far north, its climate, soils, and habitat for a variety of plants and animals including the northern pike, wolverines and wolves, moose and bears, as well as a number of species of birds.

    Cover Art
    Life in a Deciduous Forest - Dianne M. MacMillan
    Call Number: 577.3 MAC
    ISBN: 0822546841
    Publication Date: 2003-01-01
    Explores the Adirondack forests of New York state, discussing how the forest develops, the plants and animals found there, and ways in which the living and nonliving parts of the forest work together.

    Cover Art
    Investigating Earth's Desert, Grassland, and Rainforest Biomes - Sherman Hollar
    Call Number: 577 INV
    ISBN: 9781615305025
    Publication Date: 2011-08-01
    An introduction to the geography and ecology of the desert, grassland, and rainforest regions, discussing climate, animal and plant life, and where these regions can be found.

    Cover Art
    Chaparral and Scrub - Tom Warhol
    Call Number: 577.3 WAR
    ISBN: 9780761421955
    Publication Date: 2006-09-01
    Describes the characteristics of chaparral and scrub biomes, discusses where they are located on the Earth, and looks at the plants and animals found in them.

    Cover Art
    Boreal Forests - Patricia Miller-Schroeder
    Call Number: 577.3 MIL
    ISBN: 9781616906429
    Publication Date: 2011-07-15
    Presents a short study of boreal forests, and discusses where they are found around the world, the boreal climates and seasons, plants, and animals, and challenges to the ecosystem.

    Cover Art
    Biomes and Ecosystems - Barbara J. Davis; Suzy Gazlay (Consultant Editor)
    Call Number: 577 DAV
    ISBN: 9780836878721
    Publication Date: 2007-01-12
    Explores the science of biomes and ecosystems, discussing photosynthesis, food chains, plant and animal relationships, natural cycles, and other related topics. Includes glossary.

    Cover Art
    Deciduous Forests - Jennifer Hurtig
    Call Number: 577.3 HUR
    ISBN: 9781616906474
    Publication Date: 2011-07-15
    An introduction to deciduous forest biomes that looks at where they are located in the world, their various climates and seasons, native plants and animals, why their existence is in danger, and the types of jobs relating to the deciduous forest.

    Cover Art
    Coniferous Forests - Jeanne M. Nagle
    Call Number: 585 NAG
    ISBN: 1435854321
    Publication Date: 2009-07-15
    An introduction to coniferous forests, looking at the living and nonliving environment of the coniferous forests, discussing global warming and its effects, and considering the future of the forest.

    Cover Art
    Rainforests - Linda Aspen-Baxter
    Call Number: 577.34
    ISBN: 1616906464
    Publication Date: 2011-07-15
    An introduction to rain forest biomes, looking at where they are located in the world, the types and climates of rain forests, and native plants and animals, and discussing why rain forests are in danger, and the types of jobs available for people who want to work in rain forests.

    Cover Art
    Taiga - Trevor Day
    Call Number: 577.3 DAY
    ISBN: 1432941798
    Publication Date: 2010-07-01
    Presents an introduction to the taiga biome, examining its climate, plants, animals, people, and future, and including detailed views of some particular taiga regions.

    Cover Art
    Deciduous Forests - Jeanne Nagle
    Call Number: 577.3 NAG
    ISBN: 1435854276
    Publication Date: 2009-07-15
    An introduction to deciduous forests, discussing types of deciduous forests, their environment, plants, and animals, threats to the forests, and their future survival.

    Cover Art
    Grassland Biomes - Susan L. Woodward
    Call Number: 577.4 WOO
    ISBN: 0313339996
    Publication Date: 2008-09-30
    Describes and compares the characteristics of temperate and tropical grassland biomes, featuring a general overview of their climates, soil types, vegetation, and typical plants and animals, and providing a look at specific grassland biomes throughout the world. Includes maps, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations.

    Cover Art
    Temperate Forest Biomes - Bernd H. Kuennecke
    Call Number: 577.3 KUE
    ISBN: 0313340188
    Publication Date: 2008-10-30
    Offers an overview of the temperate forest that covers much of North America, describing the three types of temperate forest biomes and the aspects that define them.

    Cover Art
    Desert Biomes - Joyce A. Quinn
    Call Number: 577.54 QUI
    ISBN: 0313340161
    Publication Date: 2008-11-30
    Provides a comprehensive study of desert biomes, that includes maps, photographs, diagrams, and drawings that highlight habitats, species, and ecological relationships.

    Cover Art
    Investigating Earth's Polar Biomes - Sherman Hollar
    Call Number: 577.09 INV
    ISBN: 1615305017
    Publication Date: 2011-08-01
    The sub-zero temperatures and glacial conditions to which the polar regions of the Earth are often subject would make it difficult for many of us to survive there for long periods of time. Yet life is present in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and the lure of discovering new territories and resources has attracted both researchers and explorers to these icy expanses. Readers will journey alongside some of the early expeditions and will learn about the conditions and life that comprise the polar ecosystems.(less)

    Cover Art
    Biomes and Ecosystems - John P. Rafferty
    Call Number: 577 BIO
    ISBN: 1615303022
    Publication Date: 2011-01-15
    Earths biosphere supports several unique biomes and ecosystems. Though they operate as self-contained units, these regions also operate as part of a global network, nurturing interdependence among greatly diverse plant and animal species. The evolution of these wondrous realms both aquatic and terrestrial and the various natural elements that distinguish them from one another are the subjects of this comprehensive volume.

    Cover Art
    Forests and Grasslands - John P. Rafferty
    Call Number: 578.73 FOR
    ISBN: 1615303138
    Publication Date: 2011-01-15
    Between their verdant canopies and shaded floors, forests contain a multi-tiered ecosystem that supports an abundance of flora and fauna. Together with the grasses and vegetation in the grasslands to which they are frequently adjacent, forests make up 70 percent of the Earths land area and sustain the majority of its species. With careful detail and beautiful photographs, this volume journeys to the woodland and grassland areas of the planet and examines the distinctive features and wildlife of each as well as techniques in forestry and forest management that have helped these remarkable regions survive.

    Cover Art
    Deserts and Steppes - John P. Rafferty
    Call Number: 551.41 DES
    ISBN: 1615303170
    Publication Date: 2011-01-15
    Provides an overview of the planet's desert and steppe ecosystems, exploring the plants, animals, and unique characteristics found in each and discussing how they contribute to the overall balance of life on Earth.


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