Friday, October 31, 2014

Desert Biome Unit

So far this month we have studied the Rainforest, Tundra, and Grassland biomes. We decided to move on to the Desert biome this week. I took some help with this weeks unit and purchased a completed unit from teachers pay teachers. I really can't say enough good things about this wonderful site. It is amazing! Included in the unit were all the things I would have covered on my own. Maps of where the deserts are located throughout the world. This one totally shocked our girls. It  took some serious convincing before they would believe that the Arctic and Antarctic were deserts. I think they finally believed me....maybe.

 There were several information sheets and activities centered around the different animals that can be found in the desert biome.
 There were also two hands on activities included.  First up was a succulent observation project. The girls were rather shocked at the amount of goop that came out of then section of succulent.  The second hands on activity was an experiment concerning how the waxy coating on the succulent keeps the moisture inside the plant. It was very simple and just used sponges dipped in water. One was coated with Vaseline and the other left as it was. The two sponges were put out in the sun for the day and at the end of the day we tested to see which sponge retained the most water. I didn't get a picture of this since it was also swim lesson and art day. We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off setting up the experiment, packing lunch, and finding swimsuits. It was a really interesting experiment however and the girls found it really interesting.
Our books for this unit consisted of our library copy of the National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia and  Magic Tree House Season of the Sandstorm.

We of course studied different desert animals at our local zoo. There were several exhibits set up for the kids to touch actual animal shells and skins. A few of our kids were actually brave enough to do the touching!
Overall this was a pretty easy and laid back unit thanks to our purchased materials. Totally worth the $6 total for the week!

If you complete a desert biome study I would love to hear about it!

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