Forest Biomes: Explanation & Activities for Students

Forest Biomes: Explanation & Activities for Students
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The Facts:

There are three basic forest biomes. All face some type endangerment from lumber companies, population expansion or the need of farmland to name just a few.

The coniferous or boreal forest which stretches through northern North America, Europe, and Asia are covered in frost most of the year. Fauna include rams, caribou, elk, moose, wolves, and bears. The flora is coniferous plants, plants whose seeds are produced in cones and have needles instead of leaves, ferns and fungi.

The deciduous forest which can be found in Japan, Asia, North America and most European countries. While the climate isn’t as cold as the boreal forest it is still cold enough to cause the deciduous trees to lose their leaves in the winter. Fauna include squirrels, woodpeckers, mice, bats, shrews, deer, lynxes, elk and wolves. Flora is vast in this biome including seeds, fruit, berries, fungus, mosses, nuts, and cones.

The third type is the rainforest which has hot weather and plenty of rain. The flora is too numerous to list at 100,000 species including teak, rubber,


and banana trees. The fauna includes monkeys, apes, leopards, bats, sloths, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and many insects.

Regardless of the type of forest biome each has six basic layers.

1. Emergent layer: The tops of the tallest trees.

2. Canopy layer: The roof of the forest, a network of branches or leaves that form a covering.

3. Subcanopy layer: shorter trees whose tops end under the canopy.

4. Shrub layer: shorter trees with many stems instead of one main branch.

5. Herb layer: plants that grow close to the ground.

6. Floor layer: the bottom layer of the forest.



1. Ask the class identify where each of the three forest biomes are located on a world map.

2. Make each student a copy of a picture that shows each of the forest layers, label.

3 .Identify the types of threats to each forest biome (i.e. lumber harvest, need of farm land, etc.)

4. (Older Students) This can be done in groups or individually. Have the students rank the three forest biomes from the largest to smallest. Then have them make a pie chart with pictures filling the correct portion.

This post is part of the series: Land Biomes of the World

We live in a beautiful world. This series offers several class ideas to keep students understand the five major land biomes.

  1. Learn About the Biomes of the World
  2. Grasslands Biomes of the World
  3. The Forest Biomes of the World
  4. Arid & Desert Biomes Lesson Plan
  5. The Two Types of Water Biomes Lesson Plan: Marine & Freshwater