What if the first impression children received of their world was of land and ocean, mountains and deserts, forests and grasslands, wetlands and frozen poles rather than abstract, divisive, political boundaries?
What if, in so doing, we abandoned our traditional methods of isolating subject matter and encouraged the children to make connections? Suppose that they began to think more critically and creatively, became stakeholders in their own learning process and immersed themselves in a dynamic learning environment.
We loved exploring the biomes this year. We studied the different elements of the biomes: animals, air, energy, plants, soil and water. We even used pine needles to paint our trees in our Temperate Forest and real bark for our trunk. We even made a biome in a jar (terrarium) with Mrs. Morris.
We visited our biome on the playground of our very own school. We have collected soil, leaves and seeds from there. We even pressed “buttercup” flowers growing under our big maple tree. We learned that it is a particular kind of biome where there are seasons. There is enough rain for plants as big as trees to grow. It doesn’t get extremely hot or cold.
But a Temperate Forest is not the only kind of biome. There are other places on the earth that are closer to the equator or farther away. There are places that are very dry or very wet. There are places high atop mountains and so low that they flood with water. There are wide-open places where only grasses grow. The children really enjoyed learning about the biomes of the world: Desert, Grasslands, Mountains, Ocean, Polar Region, Temperate Forest, Tropical Rain Forest and Wetlands.
We composed songs about some of the biomes and performed the songs at our end-of-year concert.