Biomes

Home learning focus

Learn about different types of biomes including rainforest, desert, savannah, woodland, grassland and tundra.

This lesson includes:

  • one animated introduction to different types of biomes

  • one short film exploring the rainforest biome

  • three activities to build knowledge

Learn

What are biomes?

Biomes are areas of our planet with similar climates, landscapes, animals and plants. What lives in each biome depends on:

  • how warm or cold it is
  • how dry or wet it is
  • how fertile the soil is

The animals in a biome depend upon plants for food. The plants in a biome often also depend upon the animals for spreading pollen and seeds so that new plants can grow. So both plants and animals rely on each other to stay alive.

Watch this short animation with Sue Venir to find out more.

Learn about Biomes with Sue Venir.

Types of biome

Tropical rainforests are hot and wet all year round. They are home to half of all the different types of plants and animals on the planet.

Deserts are hot and dry all year round. The only things that grow are cacti and small shrubs because the soil is shallow and rocky. Animals come out at dusk when it is cooler.

The savannah is hot all year round with a long dry season. Only grasses and shrubs grow here but it is home to lots of different types of animals such as elephants, zebras and wildebeest.

Woodlands are habitats where the main plants found are trees; but mosses, ferns and lichen can also be found. The climate is warm and mild, with more rain falling in the winter than the summer.

Grasslands are areas of land that are vast and open, with grasses being the main plants. The largest grasslands are found in East Africa. Zebras, giraffes, elephants and rhinos can all be found living in grasslands.

The tundra is the coldest of all the biomes. There is very little rain or snow and the temperatures are freezing. Winters are long and summers are short. Part of the soil is frozen all year round, although the top part defrosts in summer and plants such as mosses can grow.

A desert biome is hot and dry all year round.
Rainforest biome

Rainforest biome

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Exploring the rainforest biome

In the sixteenth century, Sir Walter Raleigh began his search for El Dorado in Guyana's rainforest in South America.

Four hundred years on and a group of young adventurers from the UK - the Serious Explorers - are following in his footsteps.

The rainforest in Guyana is a place that has hardly changed since Raleigh’s day and remains one of the few areas of unspoilt jungle anywhere in the world. The whole jungle is in a delicate state of balance in which all plants, insects and animals depend on each other.

Watch this short film from the Seriously Raleigh series to find out more.

Explore life in the rainforest biome.

Practise

There are lots of fun things to do to help you remember what you've learnt about biomes.

Here are a few you could try.

Activity 1

How much have you learnt about biomes?

Drag the name of the biome to match each picture below.

Activity 2

Rainforests of the world

Find and label the continents and rainforests of the world.

Download the world map activity sheet below provided by Twinkl.

This map from Twinkl may help you.

Rainforests of the world activity sheet

Activity 3

Explore biomes and create a fact sheet

For this activity you will need a pencil and paper and coloured pencils.

This resource is provided by Britannica Digital Learning.

Explore the different biomes and create a fact sheet for each.

Exploring biomes activity

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

More lessons for Year 4 and P5
KS2 Geography on BBC Bitesize
KS2 Geography on BBC Teach
Which cat are you?
quiz
Amazon rainforest: Football-pitch-sized area cleared every minute
Learn more about Biomes
Biomes flash cards