“Make Me Fit” A WebQuest for 4th Grade Biomes and Adaptations

Introduction

The world is made up of many different ecosystems. Ecosystems are also called biomes. Each biome is unique in its animals, plants, and climate. Within these biomes, the living organisms have adaptations to help them survive in these sometimes extreme environments. From forests to deserts to chapparals to marine biomes, the world has them all.  You are an ecologist who is researching the biomes of the world and the adaptations of the plants and animals that inhabit the different biomes.

What do each of the biomes look like?  How does the climate in a particular biome affect the lives of the living things that live there?  How have plants and animals adapted to survive in each unique biome?  It is your challenge to find out!

Task

You are an ecologist who discovered a new animal in the Temperate Deciduous Forest biome. It is not surviving there. Based on the adaptations of that newly discovered animal, you need to persuade members of ECOGOALS of the suitability of this new animal to one of the other biomes of the world. You will research several different biomes, and then you will create the "perfect" animal with adaptations suited to live in one of the biomes. You will use your knowledge of the climate of the biome as well as your knowledge of the animal characteristics and adaptations common for survival in that biome to write a persuasive essay that convinces members of ECOGOALS (Ecologists for the Conservation of Global BiOmes and Living Species) that your animal is best suited to survive in a particular biome.

Process

1. Click on and print the world map at the link below. Then, color the blank world map to show where different biomes are located (Use the Biomes of the World link). Be sure to create a key for your colored map and write the definition of "biome" on the map.

Blank World Map

Biomes of the World

2. You will research the Deciduous Forest biome with your teacher. Then, you will choose three other biomes from the chart to research. Print or open the Microsoft Word Research Form to record your data. Use the Internet Links to explore the biome.

Biome Name Research Form Internet Links
Deciduous Forest Form DF Forest
Forest Animals
Forest Plants
Taiga Form T Taiga
Taiga Animals
Taiga Plants
Desert Form D Desert
Desert Animals
Desert Plants
Rainforest Form R Rainforest
Rainforest Animals
Rainforest Plants
Grassland/Savannah Form GS Grassland
Grassland Animals
Grassland Plants
Arctic Tundra Form AT Tundra
Tundra Animals
Tundra Plants
 

 

3. After completing your research, you will select one of the biomes that was researched and based on the information you gathered about that biome, you will create the "perfect" animal suited to live in that biome because it cannot survive where you live in the Deciduous Forest biome. Using the ECOGOALS packet, begin to plan what your animal looks like, how it behaves, and why it is suited to a particular biome. Your teacher may have already copied this for you.

ECOGOALS Animal Planning Sheet Packet

4. Using the ECOGOALS Species Relocation Application, submit your request (persuasive essay) for relocation of your newly discovered animal to its most suitable biome. Submit your application in your portfolio.

ECOGOALS Animal Species Relocation Application

5. After finishing the ECOGOALS Species Relocation Application, submit it to your ECOGOALS representative (your teacher).   If you have convinced the ECOGOALS representatives of your animal's survival in a particular biome, you will receive a certificate of relocation.

Evaluation

You will be evaluated using four assessments.

Description: http://users.manchester.edu/student/jestrange/MatterWebQuest/j0299587.gif The Student Self Asssessment will be worth 50 points.

Description: http://users.manchester.edu/student/jestrange/MatterWebQuest/j0299587.gif The Teacher Assessment will be worth 50 points.

 

This entire project is worth 100 points.

Conclusion

Enrichment and Extension Activities

  • Research more than 3 biomes.
  • Create biome posters to illustrate the differences found in the climate, landforms, plants, and animals.
  • Create a diorama that has a model of the created animal as well as features of the biome in which it will be best suited.
  • Do an oral presentation to introduce the new animals to the class and reasons for adaptability to a particular biome.
  • Create a life cycle chart to illustrate the life cycle, including stage names, for the new animal.
  • Complete Animal Adaptation Questions at http://www.seaworld.org/just-for-teachers/lsa/i-028/pdf/k-3.pdf

Websites to Learn More

 

■ An organism’s pattern of behavior is related to the nature of that organism’s environment, including the kinds and numbers of other organisms present, the availability of food and other resources, and the physical characteristics of the environment. (6.1e) ■ Individuals within a species may compete with each other for food, mates, space, water, and shelter in their environment. (3.2a) ■ All individuals have variations, and because of these variations, individuals of a species may have an advantage in surviving and reproducing. (3.2b) ■ The health, growth, and development of organisms are affected by environmental conditions such as the availability of food, air, water, space, shelter, heat, and sunlight. (5.2g) ■ Senses can provide essential information (regarding danger, food, mates, etc.) to animals about their environment. (5.2c) ■ When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations. (6.1f) ■ Humans depend on their natural and constructed environments. (7.1a) c