Sonoran Desert Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kathryn Miedema Dominguez

Kathryn has taught elementary students for over ten years and has her master's degree in elementary education.

The Sonoran Desert is unique because it can support a lot of plants and animal life. In this lesson, we'll learn about its location, biodiversity and monsoon rains, as well as ways plants and animals adapt to live there.

Meet Salli the Saguaro Cactus

Salli the saguaro cactus is one of over 2,000 native plants that live in the Sonoran Desert. Although it's dry and hot in the desert, Salli blooms every year, and when pollinated, she grows fruit. She loves the summer monsoon rains because that's when she soaks up and stores enough water to last her the rest of the year.

Salli's spines protect her from animals eating her trunk and arms. She can live up to 200 years in the Sonoran Desert and grow up to 60 feet tall!

A saguaro cactus can live up to 200 years!
Saguaro Cactus

The Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert is a huge desert that's part of two countries - the United States and Mexico - though most of it is in Mexico. The northern portion is in California and Arizona, while the southern part is in the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.

The Sonoran Desert is unique because it has so much biodiversity. Biodiversity is a word used to describe the variety of plants and animals in an environment. Some people think that plants and animals can't live in deserts because there's little water. However, the Sonoran Desert has more rainfall than any other desert on the world.

During the summer, the Sonoran Desert has a monsoon season. Monsoon rains are caused by a change in wind that creates thunder and rainstorms. Oftentimes, it rains so hard and fast that the streets flood and cars get swept away!

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