In past years, I have let the Fish pick what they wanted to study for science. Since they are 1st and 3rd grade this year, and Big Fish had already studied everything our state science standards state he should know by the end of 3rd grade, I needed to figure out a new plan. So I decided we would study one biome a month and we would include animal classification, plant classification, life cycles, the water cycle, geography, conservation and any other topics that came up during our study.
We are now on the last month of our biome study (it did not quite last the full year) and I wanted to share what worked for us. First, the biomes we studied were: Desert, Ocean, Rain Forests, Other Forests, Tundra, Grasslands and Fresh Water. I tried to line these up with other subjects we were studying or what was going on in our every day lives. For example, we studied oceans the month we went to the beach and the tundra during the month of January when we were also studying Jan Brett as our 1st grade literature unit.
Key Components of our study included:
Reviewing our daily calendar cards, which taught us key vocabulary for each biome, examples of these biomes, and plants and animals that live there. I created these with early to mid-elementary school students in mind and they can be found here: Biome Calendar Card Bundle. The fish loved these and were curious to see each day what we would learn so the cards were great to help them transition to the classroom each morning.
Books: We took out books from the library for each biome and our favorite series were:
Completing Notebook pages: I created notebooking pages to go with each of the biomes and used a coloring page map on the cover to locate each of the biomes. We typically spent one week introducing the biome, one week on plants of the biome, one week on animals of the biome and then finished with filling in a food web.