Friday, October 31, 2014

Grasslands Biome Unit

After studying the Rainforest and the Tundra we decided to move on to the grasslands. I couldn't find any prepared unit studies that were within my price range (free!) so I designed one myself. I started out at (love them!) and pulled some interesting facts about the grasslands. I didn't want to present just dry facts so Finding free clipart was simple enough. It took me about an hour to make up some pages with lots of white space and larger font making it easier for the kids to read.
 I like to include art in all of our subjects, even science. So after studying the plants of the grasslands we did some google image searches for prairies and the Savanna. I included a large empty box on their fact sheet and had them draw a picture of what they felt the grasslands looked like. Not surprising my girls both went with drawings of the amazing flowers found in the prairie.
 I didn't take pictures of all of the fact sheets I made up just because it seemed a bit  boring to post them all. We covered the major topics: What is a grassland, Animals of the grasslands, Plants of the grasslands, Locations of the Savanna and Prairies,  Climate of the grasslands, and a sheet with interesting not so commonly known facts.
 As I have mentioned before we like to add in a Magic Tree house book on the subject matter whenever possible. It really helps the kids "see" the ecosystem we are discussing. This weeks book was Lions Before Lunchtime. I personally found the migration information very interesting. For some reason I could not find a study guide for this book. I am sure there is one out there but I was not able to locate it. I did however find this lesson plan centered around the book. I personally just ignored the common core standards....cause honestly I just don't care about common core.

We used our library copy of the National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia  again for this unit. The girls loved looking through the different animals and classifying the animals by their ecosystem.

Our food chain book for this week was What If There Were No Bees. It continues to amaze the girls that by removing one keystone animal from an ecosystem an entire ecosystem can be altered so severely.

We were also able to see several grassland animals while on our field trip to the zoo. My favorite had to be the big cats. I was not able to get a picture of those however since my phone battery was dying and I desperately needed the GPS to get home from Philadelphia. Seems my husband decided to take my phone charger out of my van without letting me know. Not cool dude, not cool. We did however see a great deal of grassland animals while we were there and learned a great deal of random facts. I now know how to tell the difference between cheetah and leopard spots. I am sure that will come in real handy on my next African safari!

If you have developed a unit study on the grasslands I would love to hear about it!

Total for this unit was $8.95 thanks to our free zoo membership and the local library for the majority of our books.

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