PREASSESSMENT – KNOWLEDGE RATINGS
For my preassessment strategy I have chose to use a knowledge rating checklist. Knowledge ratings get students to analyze what they already know about a topic. The students are provided with a survey or checklist to fill out individually. The completed checklists are ultimately collected by the teacher to assess what previous knowledge or misconceptions the students are bringing into the biome unit.
A follow-up discussion occurs after students have completed their checklist. Students should be encouraged to share what they know about the words during this class discussion. Some leading questions the instructor might ask include: Which are the hardest words? Which words do you think most of the class doesn’t know? Which are the easiest words? Which words do most of
Once the checklists have been viewed by the instructor, they should be returned to each of the individual students. This checklist can then be used as a reference list throughout the unit. In addition, the checklist could be completed at the conclusion of the unit to show how much knowledge was learned by each student.
KNOWLEDGE RATING CHECKSHEET
How much do you know about each of these words?
Can define Have seen or ? or describe heard before Abiotic Factor Aphotic zone Benthic zone Biome Biosphere Biotic factor Canopy Community Deciduous forest Desert Ecosystem Estuary Freshwater Ground layer Intertidal zone Marine Neritic zone Oceanic zone Pelagic zone Photic zone Polar Population Prairie Predation Savanna Symbiosis Taiga Temperate rain forest Tropical rain forest Tundra Understory
LESSON PLAN – DAY ONE
1. Students will define the term biosphere.
2. Students will distinguish between populations, communities, and ecosystems. 3. Students will name the types of abiotic factors in an ecosystem.
4. Students will name three types of interactions among biotic factors in an environment (i.e.
competition for resources, predation, and symbiosis).
5. Students will list some ways biotic and abiotic factors in an environment interact (i.e.
describe how biomes are determined by climate).
1. Students will divide into groups and select a biome to be researched.
2. Students will select individual group roles to complete.
** See “BIOME PROJECT” student handout
； Overhead transparencies of biome notes – used as a visual aid during the instructor’s
introduction of key concepts
； Overhead projector – used to display the transparencies
； Biome Project Description – this student handout describes the goals and expectations of
； Group Role Evaluations/Rubrics – these student handouts describe the guidelines and
grading rubric that will be used to evaluate the individual portions of the biome project
1. The following procedure is designed to be completed in one 50 minute class period. 2. (Time = 15 minutes) Present the first section of notes to the class using an overhead
projector. The key concepts that will be reviewed or introduced include the definitions of
the biosphere, a population, a community, an ecosystem, and a biome. The instructor will
also compare and provide examples of abiotic and biotic factors of an ecosystem, detailing
the types of interactions that exist between each.
3. (Time = 5 minutes) Hand out the “Biome Group Project” description sheet. Allow students to
read the information silently at their seats. Once completed, have students select the
members of their group, sitting together as a distinct unit. Alternatively, the instructor
may choose to assign students to specific groups. Once students are in their distinct
groups, hand out the “Role Evaluation” sheets.
4. (Time = 10 minutes) Discuss and highlight the key points of the project. Points to
； Size of groups – three or four members
； Roles and expectations of group members – Writer, speaker, graphic artist, and set
designer (the role of set designer is only to be used in the group includes 4 members)
； Students are responsible for learning not only the key information of their own group,
but also the information presented by other groups.
； Available biomes – Listed on project description sheet (no two groups may research
the same biome in one class period)
； Timeline of project – Have students fill in appropriate calendar dates and deadlines
in the blanks provided.
； Evaluation of project - Stress that both individual and group grades will be assessed.
Part of your individual grade also includes in-class participation.
5. (Time = 5 minutes) Have students discuss and delegate roles of group members. They
should list all their group members and their assigned roles on their project description
sheet. Encourage students to exchange contact information – phone numbers or email
address – so they can communicate outside of class. Finally, students need to rank the
biomes in the order in which they wish to research them (first choice, second choice… last
6. (Time = 10 minutes) Allow one student from each group to randomly select a number out of a
container. The total numbers in the container should be equal to the number of groups. The
group that has drawn #1 will get to choose their biome first. All other groups need to pay
attention as they will need to cross off the biomes that have already been selected. The
group that has drawn #2 will get to choose their biome second. Continue as described until
each group has selected a biome to research.
(Time = 5 minutes) Review the timeline and important dates of the project with the class. Give the students instructions on where to report for the next class session (i.e. library, computer lab, etc). Probe students for recollection of key concepts taught previously: biosphere, biome, abiotic factors, biotic factors, competition, predation, symbiosis.
LESSON PLAN – DAYS TWO, THREE, AND FOUR
1. Students will use the Internet to research answers to the driving questions posed in the
biome project guidelines.
2. Students will use other references as needed (dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, etc). 3. Students will compile notes and the appropriate bibliography information about each
resource the use for their project.
4. Students will collaborate and pool their research so that every member of the group may
5. Students will complete rough drafts of their individual portions in class. 6. Students will work to complete their final project in class as time allows.
； Computers with Internet access – for individual and group research in class
； Additional reference materials – such as a dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas,
； Other student provided materials – students must bring with them to class any additional
materials they will need to complete their project – such as glue, scissors, poster board,
； Student participation record sheet – on the reverse side of each students evaluation rubric ； Participation observation sheet (for instructor) – for the instructor to use to make notes
about student productivity and assign a daily participation grade.
1. The following procedure is designed to be completed in three 50 minute class periods. 2. (Time = 5 minutes) Review with students appropriate computer usage and on-task behavior.
Emphasize to students the need to record all research and individual accomplishments for
each class period. These records will be used in two ways: (1) to pool individual research
done and share important information with the group; (2) to show participation and on-task
behavior to the instructor at the conclusion of each class period.
3. (Time = 40 minutes) Students should be on-task and productive throughout the entire class
period. Examples of appropriate behaviors include computer research, group collaboration,
typing field guides or presentation outlines, printing or drawing pictures for use on posters
or dioramas, constructing posters or dioramas. Examples of inappropriate behaviors – which
will result in a lowered daily participation grade – include: talking about topics not related to
the project at hand, surfing unrelated websites on the computer, working on assignments
for other classes, lack of participation (zoning out or sleeping).
4. At the conclusion of each period, remind each student to fill out their participation record
sheet (on the reverse side of their evaluation rubric). These papers should be signed and
handed into the instructor before leaving the class for the day.
5. (Time = 5 minutes) Instruct students to begin cleaning up their work area, recycling and
unneeded materials, and checking the floor for trash. The area in which they were working
should be left exactly as it was found. Also instruct students to log off their computers if
necessary and remain seated until the class is dismissed.
(Time = entire class period) Throughout the period the instructor needs to monitor each individual student for appropriate behavior. During the last 10 minutes of the class, circulate the room and request to see the accomplishments (collecting signed record sheets) of each student for that class period compared to the start of that day. Record observations on the participation sheet and assign a daily participation grade for each student at this time. This will also be an important resource for reference when assigning project grades and if the students and/or parents question their participation grade.
LESSON PLAN – DAYS FIVE AND SIX
1. Students will identify the major terrestrial biomes and describe the main characteristics of
2. Students will give examples of plant and animal adaptations to climate.
1. Students will listen attentively during group presentations.
2. Students will actively take notes during group presentations.
； Students will provide any materials they need for presenting their biome to the class
； Presentation summary chart – for students to fill out during presentations
； Evaluation rubrics – for the instructor to assess the completeness of each project
1. The teacher should hand out presentation summary charts and give general instructions on
appropriate behavior during presentations.
2. (Time = 10 minutes per group) The speaker of each group will present his/her biome to the
class. The presentation should be a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes.
The guidelines for evaluating the speaker are provided on the speaker’s evaluation rubric.
Allow two to three minutes at the conclusion of each presentation for student questions and clarifications. As the teacher, it is important that you ask questions to test the speaker for their comprehension of the biome, as well as to stimulate discussion of key information that may not have been covered.
LESSON PLAN – DAYS SEVEN AND EIGHT
1. Students will analyze the major biomes found a various national parks throughout the
2. Students will describe the main characteristics of each biome they “encounter”.
3. Students will give examples of plant and animal adaptations to climate. 4. Students will collaborate with group members to accurately document the objectives above. 5. Students will accurately diagram a travel route on a map.
6. Students will identify the major biome regions on a map.
； Pocket Road Atlas – students will use this to determine the path of their expedition. ； Outline Map of the United States – students will diagram the route they “traveled” as will
as label the major biome regions.
； Markers, crayons, and color pencils – for shading in the major biome regions
； Group answer sheet – to be filled out by group members
； Presentation summary chart – previously completed notes by students during presentations ； Biome field guide book – one for each group, assembled by the instructor
； Completed summary chart – prepared by instructor to use for evaluating the completeness
of this activity; these notes may also supplement the notes for any special needs students.
1. (Time = 5 minutes) Have students sit with their group members in a secluded area of the
classroom. They may bring with them their completed summary chart from presentations.
Give each group a map of the United States and access to coloring utensils. Give each
student a copy of the travel itinerary and assessment guidelines, and a group answer sheet 2. (Time = 60 - 90 minutes) Students will have two entire periods to complete the group
assessment activity. They may wish to delegate different tasks to be more efficient during
this evaluation. All students must contribute to the group evaluation. 3. Students should hand in their completed group answer sheets and map to the instructor
when they are finished.
The instructor should evaluate the activity according to the following guidelines: 1. Are national parks accurately identified according to their biome?
-- Mount Rainer National Park (Peak of Mountain)
-- Denali National Park
-- Acadia National Park
-- Mount Rainer National Park (Base of Mountain)
-- Crater Lake National Park
-- Great Smokey Mountains National Park
-- Badlands National Park
-- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
** NO SAVANNAH IN USA **
-- Joshua Tree National Park
-- Saguaro National Park
TEMPERATE RAIN FOREST
-- Redwood National Park
-- Olympic National Park
TROPICAL RAIN FOREST
-- Haleakala National Park
-- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
2. Are the driving questions of the project accurately answered in detail for each biome?
-- What are the abiotic factors present in each biome (temperature, precipitation, soil)?
-- What are the biotic factors present in our biome (plants and animals)?
-- What are the relationships between the plants and animals (competition for resources,
-- How have the climate and soil conditions determined the plant life and distribution of
animals in our biome? How have organisms adapted to their biome?
YOUR MISSION (should you choose to accept it):
1. As a group, you will research and present a biome to the class. 2. Your group will contain 3 members (or 4 in some cases) in which each member has a unique role
in the project.
； Writer – creates a one page field guide of biome
； Speaker – presents biome to class in a 5 minute presentation
； Graphic Artist (optional) – designs a poster and sketches for field guide
； Scene Designer (optional) – designs a three-dimensional diorama of biome 3. Both individual and group grades will be given at the conclusion of the project. 4. You will also be responsible for the material presented about the other types of biomes.
Where in the USA or world is our biome located?
What are the abiotic factors present in our biome?
What is the make-up of the soil?
What is the average climate (temperature, humidity, precipitation)? What are the biotic factors present in our biome?
What plants and animals will likely be found?
What are the relationships between the plants and animals (competition for resources,
How do the abiotic factors and biotic factors interact?
What special challenges does your biome present to its inhabitants due to its climate?
How has its residents adapted to meet those challenges?
Tundra Grassland – Savannahs
Coniferous Forest (Taiga) Rain Forest – Tropical
Deciduous Forest Rain Forest – Temperate
Grassland – Prairies Desert
Introduce project, key concepts, assign groups and biomes Date:
Library research and group work Date:
Individual portion of project due Date:
Group presentations Date:
Biome evaluation Date: