Biomes of North America Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Andrew Coley

Andy is an instructional coach and curriculum specialist. He's working on a Masters of Educational Leadership and is also an aspiring author for kids.

In this lesson students will learn the diversity of North America's biomes, and the different types of biomes that encompass the land. Learn about the temperature, weather and land of the area between Central America and Canada.

The Continent of North America

Can you imagine flying in a hot air balloon over North America? What do you think you would see as you flew through the sky over this giant continent?

What Is a Biome?

You may not know the word biome, but you know what it is! Some types of biomes are deserts, forests, and grasslands. These areas have different animals, plants, and climate, or weather patterns, associated with them, and those features are what makes each one unique.

As you take your hot air balloon across North America, you will encounter different biomes, all unique from one another. Let's look at them as we go on our adventure.

Deserts

Our first stop takes us through the hot, dry deserts of Mexico and the southwestern United States. Deserts can come in all shapes and sizes, but are marked by little rain fall and plants that can survive without much rain. This means as you look over the rails of the hot air balloon, you'll see an area filled with cactuses!

To be classified as a desert, a region has to get fewer than 25cm of rain per year, so we won't have to worry about clouds here. As we travel this area we will see the Sonoran and the Mojave desert. The animals we'll see in the desert can be very different, but all have adapted to survive this harsh weather and low amount of water.

Plants in the desert can survive a long time with out water.
Agave plant

Rainforests

Our next stop takes us to a very different biome: the rainforest, which we'll find in Central America. We won't be able to see much in our balloon because these jungles are rich with large canopies of plants fighting to grow to the top. Many different animals live in the rainforest, including jungle cats, snakes, and birds in the high trees. It's very wet, raining throughout the year.

Forests

There are three types of forest in the United States, each one different from the other. All the types are marked by large trees, and other plants covering a large area. Temperatures are cooler, and animals are very diverse. One type is the deciduous forest, which covers a large portion of the eastern United States.

Then as we head up from Mexico in our hot air balloon, we will travel through California, Oregon, and Washington. There we find coniferous forests and boreal forests. There are large oak trees and maple trees, and many deer, bears, and squirrels that fill this area. Both these forests have huge firs and pine trees. We have to fly high here to avoid the coniferous forest called the redwoods, which has trees up to 50 feet high!

Forests have large trees, and thick vegetation.
redwood and fog

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