Biome in a Bottle Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

It is interesting to learn about different areas of the world. Your students will have an enjoyable learning experience as they watch a video and then work in groups to create their own biome in a bottle.

Lesson Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define biome
  • Identify the different types of biome
  • Describe characteristics of various types of biomes


2.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.


  • Copies of the lesson quiz
  • Large plastic bottles
  • Water (fresh and salt)
  • Plastic animals and plants (should include ones that appear in every type of biome)
  • Scissors, glue gun and glue sticks, tape
  • Ground material (Dirt, soil, sand, rocks, pebbles, shells)


  • Begin by asking your students to describe everything about the area where the school is located. Ask them to include plants, animals, weather, climate, and what they see on the ground
  • Tell them they were just describing their biome. Let them know they may not know what that term means right now, but they will gain a better understanding as they watch the What is a Biome? -Definitions & Types
  • Start playing the video for your students. Pause the video at 0:36 to ask and discuss the following:
    • What is a biome?
    • What are the two main categories of biomes?
    • How many major classifications of biomes are there?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it at 4:02. Ask and discuss:
    • What type of biome do you think the school is in?
    • Which terrestrial biome is the coldest?
    • What are the temperate biomes?
    • Which type of biome is found closest to the equator?
    • Which type of biome has very little rainfall in a year and can be either hot or cold?
  • Play the video until 5:33, then ask and discuss:
    • What is a freshwater biome?
    • Describe a coral reef biome.
    • Where are estuaries located and what is unique about the animals that live there?
  • Let the rest of the video play as a review.
  • Give the students the lesson quiz to complete.
  • Go over the quiz answers together as a class discussing each correct answer and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

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