Exploring Biomes - Deserts

Making a Gila Monster at the beginning of class intrigued the children.  They followed the directions from pages 12-13 in Animal Habitats!The project involves printing with bubble wrap for a textured lizard appearance.  These needed to dry before we could complete the lizard picture.  After the children painted their lizards, we asked them to set their lizards aside to dry.

Once the paintings were drying, I began asking the children what kind of habitat they thought it lived in.  Of course, after a little prompting, they knew it was a desert.  I then presented introductory material about desert habitats from lesson 19 in Properties of Ecosystems. The brief lecture included:
  • characteristics of hot and cold deserts
  • examples of hot and cold deserts
  • fascinating desert facts

Then, the children completed a worksheet entitled "Desert Plants" from Habitats: Science Works for Kids Series, Evan-Moor, p. 17.  It included a variety of desert flora which was interesting to the children.

Specific animals were the main topic of discussion after the worksheet.  This led to another worksheet from Habitats: Science Works for Kids Series, Evan-Moor, p. 19 "Find the Desert Animals."  It was more of a decoding paper and the children were excited to see a Gila Monster on the worksheet.

As the children completed this page, we directed them back to their Gila Monster pictures.  Each child cut out their painted lizard pattern.  They prepared a background on a brown piece of construction paper by gluing on sand.  Finally, they added their lizard.

To finish the class, I read the book, The Magic School Bus Gets All Dried Up: A Book about Deserts.  Most of the children love the wild field trips Ms. Frizzle plans.  We have a few who are not amused by the bus, but they still like the class members' antics.  Personally, I like how much actual science is intertwined into the antics.  My teacher assistants for the class like Ms. Frizzle's outfits and keep asking when I'll start dressing like her.  {Not especially helpful, eh?}

A True Book: Deserts, by Peter Benoit
A Desert Habitat, by Kelley MacAulay and Bobbie Kalman
The Magic School Bus Gets All Dried Up: A Book about Deserts

Other Resource a.k.a. The Fun Extras My Child Got to Do Because I Am the Teacher:
The Desert Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta
Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry? All About Deserts, by Tish Rabe
Planet Earth, Education Edition: Deserts, Discovery Education DVD

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