Ecology, biodiversity, and biomes are essential parts of our existence on earth. Teaching these concepts is even more crucial in today’s age, when climate change, deforestation, and pollution threaten many biomes on earth.
But biomes constitute a wide area of study, particularly due to their various types and defining parameters. To further complicate this topic, many types of biomes may seem alien to those who have never visited these areas.
Thus, educators need some engaging methods to illustrate the idea of biomes and convey their significance to students. Here, we discuss five engaging ways to teach your students about biomes.
With numerous different types of biomes to learn about, students need something interactive to grasp their characteristics and differences. Interactive models have the power to bring never-before-seen landscapes and climates to life so that students can readily visualize them.
For example, Labster’s biomes virtual lab offers students the chance to creatively experiment with a Biome Generator. Here, the students can play with many different parameters – like climate, geology, flora and fauna – to generate new biomes. They get to visualize how their biome would look, and correct any mistakes they may have made.
Games and activities can have an unprecedented positive effect on students’ learning abilities. By forging an atmosphere of competition and collaboration, they open up a host of creative and inspirational possibilities that a conventional classroom never can. Let us look at some examples of fun activities in which you can engage your students.
If you want to teach your students about biomes, what could be a better inspiration than Mother Nature herself? You can take your students to a place that can aptly represent a type of biome. This could be an adventure retreat to a beach, or a short visit to a national forest perhaps.
You can also ask your students to make 3D models of a biome of their choice. The students can place relevant animal figures and miniature trees in the 3D models, alongside the appropriate geological features. This activity will invoke the students’ creative side, irrespective of their age.
Teaching a loaded and pertinent topic like biomes requires educators to think out of the box and innovate. Thankfully, today’s advanced technology offers us a number of innovative ways in which to bring new concepts to students. You can transform your classroom by leveraging the visual aids that animations provide, and the immersivity that virtual reality offers.
Labster’s biomes simulation, for example, takes the students into the Earth Virtual Lab. This is an imaginative place where they can create their own biomes and visualize the effects of the changing biosphere. They can add the animals and vegetation of their choice, and modulate the climate and geology to invent their biome. In the process, the students also learn how to differentiate between different types of biomes.
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To teach your students about the importance of biomes, talk to them about the people who deal with biomes professionally. This will get them excited about the potential career avenues that learning about biomes can open up for them.
Tell your students how ecologists study biomes and analyze the way in which various species interact with their environment. Talk to them about how foresters and conservation scientists apply the knowledge of biomes to assess and maintain specific ecosystems.
The study of biomes may seem like a vague and distant topic to some students. Connecting this topic to its real-world applications can acquaint the students with its significance.
For example, you can connect biomes to popular topics like environment conservation and climate change. You can also talk to your students about endangered biomes, like rainforests and tropical grasslands, and their impact on earth. Establishing these connections with real-world applications will inspire your students to think about biomes in their day-to-day life. This, in turn, will accelerate learning.
Biomes form a vast topic of study in ecology, and a rather significant one at that. It is imperative that students learn about this topic sincerely and thoroughly. The methods we have discussed here connect students with the concept of biomes in a creative way and inspire learning.
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