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Webquests on Mountains and Biomes

written by: Dawn Marcotte • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 8/8/2012

This webquest on mountains and other biomes will introduce students to the concept of a biome and allow them to explore several in depth. Alpine biomes are the focus of the second set of questions and a third section encourages students to go deeper into biomes and ecology.

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    Learning About Biomes

    This biome webquest will help students explore environments as they relate to mountains and is designed for more advanced students. Students will also study how their actions directly impact biomes. Students in small groups, pairs or as individuals can complete this webquest. A couple of helpful websites for answering these questions is www.kidsgeo.com/geography-for-kids/0165-biomes.php or http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/. The next section on alpine biomes teaches students that some biomes differ according to the location and height of the mountain.

    Students will be able to answer:

    • What is the definition of a biome?
    • What kind of biome do you live in?
    • Name 5 of the major biomes and their characteristics.
    • What is an ecosystem? How is it different from a biome?
    • How do mountains effect precipitation around them?
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    Alpine Biome

    A single mountain may have several different biomes as the temperature and geography changes from lower altitudes to upper altitudes. Some resources will list an alpine biome as the geography that occurs on a mountain above 10,000 feet.

    For this webquest students will study the variety of biomes that occur at all levels of a mountain. This will encourage them to understand how these environments interact and affect each other.Students may want to use the website http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org to help answer the following questions and to learn more about biomes.

    • What is a snowline on a mountain?
    • Name the mountain range in South America.
    • Name the biome around the base of this mountain chain in the country of Colombia.
    • Is this the same biome type as in Bolivia?
    • Name three plants that live on this mountain range.
    • Name three animals that live in these mountains.
    • Name the mountain range in western North America.
    • List the 5 biomes on this mountain range and their characteristics.
    • List 3 plants and 3 animals that live in each biome on this mountain range.
    • Name the mountain range in northern Europe.
    • Name three birds that live in the high Alps and what their adaptations are.
    • Name the mountain range in Asia.
    • Describe how plants have adapted to this alpine climate.
    • What are the two main seasons on this mountain range?
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    Advanced Activities

    The following activities will encourage students to think about how humans affect the environment and how specific environments affect the organisms that live there.

    • Choose a biome and list three ways humans can directly affect that specific biome, either positively or negatively.
    • Draw a diagram of weather patterns as they move over a mountain. Include precipitation and temperature changes.
    • List three endangered animals that live on a mountain and describe why they are endangered.
    • Are there any endangered animals that have been helped by humans? If so, how?
    • How does the altitude of a mountain affect the plants and animals that can live there?
    • List one plant and one animal that are unique to each of the four mountain ranges previously studied. Describe the adaptations they have made to live in that specific environment.
    • Describe how people and animals have adapted to live in the high altitudes of the Himalayas.

    Students who enjoyed this biome webquest may want to research opportunities in the community for further studies in ecology or environmental sciences.