Thursday, August 20, 2009

Science around the world - biomes

Of all the fun things we'll be doing in our Around the World studies this year, I think I'm most excited about our science. The main, year-long portion of our study will be animals of the world and world biomes and habitats. So, we'll study the rain forest in Brazil, grasslands in Africa, coniferous forests in Canada, tundra in Russia, deserts in the Middle East - you get the idea.

I was so pleased to find this book:

Janice VanCleave's Science Around the World: Activities on Biomes from Pole to Pole
It's packed with experiments that illustrate the properties of each biome - relative humidity in the rainforest, evaporation in the desert, etc.

Look at these excellent, interactive "virtual labs" - exploring deciduous forest, hot desert, grassland, Antarctic ocean shore and freshwater lake ecosystems. There are more virtual labs here, including some dissections. These are for older students, but I think we will still enjoy them.

We'll also be using this Usborne book which covers mountains, jungles and deserts with lots of wonderful information and pictures:

Now THIS book I really like. I found it at the homeschool convention and I'm excited to use it because it is written from a very christian perspective. So many books sing the praises of creation without a word about the Creator! Not this one:

Z-Man and I will have to work through it slowly together as the language is advanced for a third grader, but I think it lays such an excellent biblical foundation for earth science that it's well worth it.

In addition to experiments from the first book, we'll probably do one or more of these printable shoebox dioramas. There's one for wetland, desert and rainforest.

We may also tackle this rainforest mural from Jan Brett's site. A pretty ambitious project, but maybe if we pace ourselves... and invite people over to color with us! Any takers?

This page (or lens?) on Squidoo has more rainforest information/resources/activities than you could use in a year, including lapbook material. How is one to choose?

And we may make a little desert terrarium with plastic creatures as found in this free Desert/Rainforest unit study from Homeschool in the Woods.

Some lovely rainforest books for pre-schoolers:

The Over in the Jungle series also has Over in the Arctic and Over in the Ocean. The Sleeping Bear Press book series also has an ocean book:

Our ocean study will be a little longer than the other habitats and coincide with our study of Australia, Japan and the Pacific Islands.

Check out this great ocean lapbook for pre-schoolers!

I'll post lots more on each biome as we get to it.

And then there are the animals! But that's another post...

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