The end of the school year is a time to reflect on the best lessons and units taught during the course of the year. For me, my best unit this year was called “Deserts of the World”, where my students explored the 20+ deserts that exist on Earth. The unit was centered around the BBC video – Planet Earth: Deserts, which we watched to kick off our unit.
Then, we created world maps with all of the deserts labeled on them. We categorized our deserts into hot, cool and polar deserts and added the names and pictures of multiple desert animals from each region.
Next, we learned about how plants and animals adapt to the harsh climates of these deserts by looking at the needs of plants and animals and experimenting with the needs of a plant during our Great Plant Experiment.
Finally, the students got a chance to choose a desert and become an expert by doing internet research. Students used the information they found to create a Virtual Field Trip to their deserts. They had the choice of creating a video, presentation, interactive poster, diorama or map. Here are some of the projects that the kids made:
Since the entire school was studying the desert, we chose a day at the end of the trimester to invite the younger students upstairs to see our projects. We turned this into a “Desert Museum” where our students stayed put while the younger students came around and were able to “experience” each different desert.
If you are interested in doing a Deserts of the World unit with your class, you can find all of these activities – and more in my complete unit plan at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. The unit also includes the Great Plant Experiment.
What was your favorite unit to teach this year?