Introducing Deserts Mini-Lesson

Use this slideshow to introduce students to a desert ecosystem. In this mini-lesson, students will learn what a desert ecosystem is and will be introduced to some plant and animal adaptations that help organisms survive in the harsh desert environment.
Grades
4 |
5 |
6
Themes
Holidays
Teaching Strategies
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Excerpted from

Eyewitness: Desert
Eyewitness: Desert
Miranda MacQuitty

Eyewitness: Desert is a detailed guide to some of the most inhospitable places on Earth. This book treks across the Earth's most parched places to find some of the greatest stories of adaptation and survival.

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Objective
Students will learn what a desert ecosystem is and will be introduced to some plant and animal adaptations that help organisms survive in the harsh desert environment.
Suggested Time
15 minutes
Reading Level
Upper Elementary
Introducing Deserts Mini-Lesson

Teacher Background

With little rain and extreme temperatures, deserts are some of the harshest places on Earth. A desert is strictly defined as
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Print or Project

  • A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  • Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work.(Example: Do you think the caption "Ship in the Desert" is a good one for the camel? Why or why not?)
Continue the Conversation
Many forms of cacti have roots that are shallow and spread out around the plant. Ask students why they think this might be an advantage. Guide them to see that having a large radius of shallow roots helps the plant gather as much water as possible from dew and occasional rain.
Write about it
Tell students to imagine they are a reporter assigned to cover a story in the desert. Ask them to write a paragraph that tells their readers how they prepared to survive in the desert. Remind them that they will need more than water!

Lesson Contents

TEACHER RESOURCES

Extension Activities

Reinforcements

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worksheet

Introducing Deserts Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to deserts by using each defined word in a sentence.

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worksheet

Desert Ecology Reading Warm-Up
Grade: 3 - 4
A reading passage and comprehension questions on desert ecology.

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