Lesson Plan 1: Introduction to Anthropogenic Biomes

Students will break up into teams to do in-class research to collect information about the different biomes of the world. This research will include watching videos, looking through textbooks (if needed), navigating through the class website, and locating biomes on a world map.

Once the class is familiar with what the biomes should be like based on climate and vegetation, the students will brainstorm different human activities that take place in each biome. This will be the basis for the Anthropogenic Biomes or Human Biomes that will be introduced.

    • Identify the terrestrial biomes
    • Identify the location of each biome on the world map
    • Describe the environmental factors of each biome
    • Describe the types of plants and animals that live in each biome
    • Describe human activities that take place in each biome
    • Describe the effects of these activities on the environment

    • 2-3 class periods


world map



Day 1 - Intro to Anthromes:
1. Hand out a copy of the blank world map and biome worksheet to each student.
2. Put transparency of Biome World Map up for class to review.
3. Discuss the Biome World Map with the class. Point out the 9 different biomes of the world. Inquire about their current knowledge of biomes. What defines a biome? Where are these biomes located? What biome do we live in?
4. Show images of Deciduous Forests. Ask the class if this is what their backyard looks like. How is it similar? How is it different? What kind of climate to we see in the deciduous forest? What kind of plant life and animal life do we have here? What kind of human activities take place in this biome that changes its definition?
5. Show images of urbanization and dense settlements of local areas. Ask the class if this looks familiar. Does this look like a deciduous forest? Is it still a deciduous forest?
6. Show the Anthropogenic Biome Map . Focus on where we live.
7. Discuss with the class the different types of changes humans have made to the biome we live in such as:
  • urbanization
  • cropping
  • grazing
  • recreation
8. Have students get into 5 biome teams:
  • Tundra (Arctic & Alpine)
  • Taiga/Coniferou forest
  • Grassland/Savanna
  • Tropical Rain Forest
  • Desert & Chaparral/Scrub
9. Each group should do some research on their biome. They can use whatever resources they would like: classroom texts, biomes websites (http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.watcyc.biomemap/, or http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biomes/index.html ), or the anthromes website (http://anthromes.wikispaces.com).
10. Have students fill out worksheet, and answer questions regarding their biome.
11. Have students color in on their blank world map the biomes they researched.
12. Ask students to think about how humans have changed the environment, and how we have changed biomes based on how they are defined.

Biome Worksheet:
Biome Name:
World Location:
(Seasonal Temperature
Seasonal Precipitation):
Plant Life:
Animal Life
Other Environmental Factors:
Human Activities:

Day 2:

1. Discuss with the class what they thought humans have done to change the environment. Give hints if necessary.
2. Have class break up into 5 biome teams (Decidous Forest was done collectively previous day): (If necessary, give students more time to collect their biome information.)
  • Tundra (Arctic & Alpine)
  • Taiga/Coniferous forest
  • Grassland/Savanna
  • Tropical Rain Forest
  • Desert & Chaparral/Scub

3. Have each group present their findings of the biome they were assigned to the previous day.
4. Discuss with the class the different ways humans have altered the biomes, such as:
5. Introduce these human alterations as examples of some of the topics that will be covered in this upcoming unit of Earth Science or Environmental studies.
6. Remind students to keep the ideas of Anthromes in their head while we study the above topics.