Building A Biome
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Kelly Ludwig Lincoln-Way High School
1801 East Lincoln Highway
New Lenox IL 60451
The main objective in this Mini-teach is to show students how different
plants grow in each biome.
2-L cardboard carton
sandy soil or potting soil
seeds: 5 lima beans, 30 rye grass, 10 impatiens
clear plastic wrap
lamp (light source)
1. The teacher will assign each group one of the following biomes:
desert, grassland, rain forest, or deciduous forest.
2. Cut the entire front wall from a carton. Poke a few small holes in the
uncut side for drainage. Staple the spout closed.
3. Fill the carton with soil to within 3 cm of the top. NOTE: If you
have been assigned the desert biome, use sandy soil.
4. At one end of the carton, plant 10 impatiens seeds. In the middle of
the carton, plant 5 lima beans. Scatter 30 rye seeds on the soil surface
at the other end of the carton.
5. On your index card, write the names of your group, the seeds, and the type
of biome. Tape the card to the carton.
6. Water the seeds well. Cover the open part of the carton with plastic
7. Put the carton in a warm place where it will remain undisturbed. Observe
the carton every day.
8. After the seeds have sprouted, and depending upon which biome your
group has, give it the following amounts of light and water.
Desert: little water, 5-6 hours of light
Grassland: medium water, 5-6 hours of light
Deciduous forest: medium water, 1-2 hours of light
Rain forest: much water, no direct light
"much water": keep soil surface wet
"medium water": let surface dry, then add water
"little water": let soil dry to a depth of 2.5 cm, then water
9. Observe the development of the plants in your biome and in the biomes
of the other groups. Record your observations.
At the conclusion of the Mini-teach, students will be able to answer
the following questions:
1. In which biome did most of the seeds grow best?
2. Where did grass seeds grow best? The beans? The impatiens?
3. Which plants grew well in more than one biome?
4. How do beans react to little light?
5. Explain why plants grew differently in each biome?
6. Why did the seeds need water when they were planted?
7. What was the variable in the experiment?
8. Predict how the impatiens, lima beans, and rye seeds would grow in the
tundra and coniferous forest biomes.
Students will understand how different plants grow in each biome.