Biology Unit on the Biosphere: biomes, ecosystems, habitats, feeding relationships, biological interactions

What is the difference between a biome, ecosystem, and habitat?  What is the difference between a food chain and a food web? What are trophic levels?  What is the energy pyramid? What is symbiosis?  How do different species interact?  What in the world is amensalism or antiobiosis?!   These are some of the things we covered in our latest biology unit!

How We Started Our unit on Biomes: This semester we started with an overview of the main biomes. The kids could come up with the names for all of them, though not the more specialized words (like taiga or chaparral.)  In our biology packet, we have several different notebook pages on the main biomes. The kids did the “fill in the blank” version as we highlighted some of the main features of each biome (there’s also one that is completely filled in, one that just has the biome name and students can write in their own information, and a matching page (which my kids did a couple of weeks later):

Biomes-Worksheets

In the packet, there are full-sized (8 1/2 by 11) photos of each biome.  I chose to print 4 per page which worked well for our needs.  I laminated them and cut them apart.

What are the major biomes?

  • Arctic
  • Alpine Tundra
  • Boreal Forest or Taiga
  • Deciduous Forests
  • Deserts
  • Grasslands
  • Tropical Savannas
  • Chaparral
  • Tropical Rain Forest

Biome-Cards

As we kicked off our unit, I had the kids choose a biome and they each did research and give a 3 to 5 minute speech on what they learned.  They actually loved that!  LD did deserts; DD did hers on the savanna; and ED did rain forests.

We then did an activity on rain forest plants, which I talked about in this post (and which I also explained in the packet).

climate zones-biomesFrom there, we went on to talk about the three main climate zones (and how that relates to the tilt of the Earth on its axis).  And then we started to talk about the abiotic factors of each biome —  ie. the physical, nonliving factors that shape an ecosystem.

Biomes-Abiotic-Factors-WorksheetsThe next week, we went on to talk about the dominant animals and plants in each biome.

Biomes-Dominant-Plants-Animals-WorksheetsWe learned the difference between food chains and food webs… and talked about the energy pyramid. The packet includes some interactive notebook activities:

Food Chain Food Web Food Pyramid Activties - Interactive Notebook Pages

Learn about the trophic levels with this interactive notebook/lapbook activity:

Trophic Level - Interactive Notebook Activity

The kids spent one day on the anatomy of a cat and dog. You’ll find those sheets in this packet as well:

Animal-Anatomy-PagesFrom there we discussed the difference between habitats and ecosystems. We talked about the difference between producers and consumers (autotrophs and heterotrophs).  And, we talked about the different feeding relationships: herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, detritivores and decomposers.

Biology-Feeding-Relationships

Life BBC Documentary

There are some self-correcting review cards for these terms as well:

herbivore carnivore omnivore decomposer detritivor cards

Our unit would definitely not have been as amazing without the breathtaking footage and fascinating stories about the animals of our planet!!  We watched the BBC documentary Life (affiliate link) also narrated by David Attenborough as we studied the different biomes, feeding relationships and biological relationships.  This series was the perfect complement to our studies because it really looked in depth at “some of the more colorful strategies the world’s creatures employ to procreate, evade predators, and obtain nourishment. This enthralling BBC series examines “the lengths living beings go to to stay alive.” We highly, highly recommend this documentary:

We spent time talking about food chains, food webs, and the energy pyramid.

Biology-Food-Pyramid-Energy-Pyramid

Energy Pyramid Interactive Notebook Activity

In the last part of this unit, we spent quite a bit of time learning about biological interactions:

  • Amensalism
    • Predation
    • Competition
    • Antibiosis
  • Mutualism
  • Commensalism
  • Parasitism

We start with a general discussion of symbiosis and I also introduced the animal defense – mimicry. Then we go into more detail about the different biological relationships:  This relationship can be helpful to both symbionts, helpful to one but neutral to the other, or helpful to one but harmful to the other.  One or both of the symbionts might entirely depend on each other for survival or they might generally live independently.

symbiosis commensalism mutualism worksheets and activities

Biological-Interactions-WorksheetsTo wrap up our unit, we reviewed many of the new terms we had learned about the Biosphere.  🙂  The kids (and I!!) definitely learned a lot! 🙂

Biosphere-WorksheetsThis packet 70 page packet is $6.50 and contains all the materials mentioned above. See the Biology Bundle of 3 below!

$6.50

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

Biology Packet on the Biosphere: Biomes, Ecosystems, Habitats, Feeding Relationships, Biological Interactions and More!

Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window).  You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use), which will have a link you can click on to download the Biology Unit.  (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.)  Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com.  You can also reach me by replying to the email from SendOwl or using the contact form on the blog. And you can also reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.

Biology-Unit-Biosphere-Biomes-Habitats-PacketBiomes-WorksheetsBUNDLE OPTION:

$18.00 Biology BUNDLE of 3: 1) Biology Unit (Biomes, habitats, food chains/webs, feeding relationships) 2)  Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet 3) Ocean Unit & Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone Activities

Biology Packet Quick Preview

Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Quick Preview

Ocean Packet Quick Preview

 

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.Visit Our Store to see our other packets.

Homeschool Den StoreBiology Bundle of 3 includes the Biology Unit (Biomes, food chains, etc) plus the Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Unit and the Ocean Unit…

Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Packet:

Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Unit - Packet 60+pages

In this unit, we started off by talking about why we classify things. We learned about the dichotomous key and did a number of activities to understand how they work. We talked about why classification is useful and how we can do that in a way that is organized and logical.

Scientific Classification- Dichotomous Key ActivitiesThen we went into more detail about the history of classification.  Scientists have been grouping and categorizing different species for most of human history. In the past 300 years or so, scientists have worked on developing a logical, organized system for classifying the species around us.

All living organisms are classified by their characteristics. We keep adding to and adjusting the classification system as new evidence become available through DNA research and molecular studies! We talked about Linnaeus and his contributions to the classification of animals and his system of naming organisms (binomial nomenclature).

History Scientific Classification - Linnaeus Notebook PagesWe talked about the current system of classification and by the end of the unit, the kids were readily able to identify the types of organisms that have been classified as Bryozoa, Platyhelminthes, Porifora and other phyla in the Animalia Kingdom.

Taxonomy-Scientific Classification-ActivitiesWe did a number of hands-on activities studying and observing various species and even did some simple dissections at the end of the unit.

Biology Bundle includes the Biology Unit (Biomes, food chains, etc) plus the Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Unit and the Ocean Unit…

Ocean Unit:

This unit is a study of the hydrosphere — Earth’s oceans, tides, marine life (including bioluminescent critters, and more!)

Ocean Unit Middle SchoolIn our ocean studies we explored

  • Marine Habitats
  • Water Form Words (bay, estuary, lagoon, fjord, etc.)
  • Features of the Ocean Floor (trench, seamount, guyot, etc.)
  • Ocean Navigation (early navigation with astrolabes & the constellations, modern SONAR)
  • Salinity
  • Ocean Currents (Surface & Deep Sea Currents)
  • Ocean Life:
    • Special Body Features
    • Fish Body Shape and Movement
    • Biological Interactions: Mutualism and Commensalism in the Ocean
    • Deep Sea Life – Bioluminescence, Anglerfish

We also talked about the ocean zones and different layers of the ocean again (which we covered three or four years ago).

Ocean Unit Study-coming-soonFeatures-of-the-Ocean-Floor-WorksheetsOcean Zones - Layers of the Ocean ActivityFish-Body-Shape-Features-WorksheetsBioluminescence-Worksheets

$18.00 Biology BUNDLE of 3: 1) Biology Unit (Biomes, habitats, food chains/webs, feeding relationships) 2)  Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet 3) Ocean Unit & Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone Activities

Biology Packet Quick Preview

Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Quick Preview

Ocean Packet Quick Preview

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.Visit Our Store to see our other packets

Homeschool Den Store

You might also be interested in some of our other packets and printable:

Earth’s 4 Major Systems (FREE!): Atmosphere, Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere (free printable) – When we started our Biosphere unit, we went over the 4 major Earth systems again using these notebook pages. These pages review the 4 major ecosystems and is a good introduction to any unit on earth science, Earth’s atmosphere, biomes, ecosystems & animal habitats, or an ocean unit.

4-Major-Earth-Systems-Biosphere-Atmosphere-Geosphere-Hydrosphere

Earth Science Unit: In this unit we covered the solar system, the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics, the ring of fire, earthquake activity and volcanoes.

50+ Page Earth Science Packet

Simple Machines Packet This packet include our hands on activities on levers,  wedges and more.

SimpleMachinesPacket

Digestive System Unit – This packet includes hands on activities about digestion, the length of the digestive tract and more

Digestive System Worksheets and ActivitiesSmall intestines, liver gall bladder pancreas large intestines notebook pages

 

Human Body System Worksheets

Human Body Systems and their Organs Human Body Systems Worksheets

HumanBodySystems-Packet

Skeleton System Worksheets 

HumanSkeleton-Worksheets-Lapbook

Rock and Minerals Worksheets – Worksheets plus our hands on activities on the three types of rocks

Rocks-and-Minerals-Unit

Native American Indians Worksheets 

NativeAmericans-Northeast

Civil Rights Worksheets

Key Events of the Civil Rights Movement

Grammar Worksheets – Its/It’s Their/They’re/There; Comma Rules

CommaRules-and-Practice-Collage

 

Cells Worksheet Packet: Cell Theory, Eurkaryotic vs. Prokaryotic Cells, Cell Organelles, Animal vs. Plant Cells and More

Cell-Worksheet-Packet

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) ~Liesl

P.S. Our store is getting a bit of a make-over. Hooray!  I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if there was a way to purchase more than one item at a time.  Since I run this blog on my own and always super busy juggling our homeschooling (and homeschool planning), outside activities, and work on the website/business… it has taken a long time to get to this! (Sheepish grin here!)

You can pop over to check out our store here:

Homeschool Den StoreOur packets are pdf downloads. :)

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If you do use our affiliate links, thank you so much for supporting our blog! Warmly, Liesl

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2 Responses

  1. Kylie says:

    Wow sounds a very thorough unit of work. We did all of this last year, it was so interesting and I think I learned as much as the kids!

    • homeschooldenadmin says:

      It was a fun unit! The kids especially liked the section we did on biological interactions. Many of those terms were new to us, though you know just from experience that some organisms benefit from one another (bee/flower), while some don’t mammals/fleas! Fun unit and I loved picking out all the pictures! 🙂
      Thanks for leaving a note. I’ll have to go check out and see what you’re up to these days! ~Liesl

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