Savannah and Desert

Lesson overview

In this lesson students will explore the differences between the Savannah and Desert biomes going on to write a report about desertification, its causes and what can be done to stop it.

Learning outcomes
  • Define the characteristics of the Savannah and Desert Biomes
  • Connect climate and ecosystem
  • Investigate desertification in the Sahel

Expedition Prep Checklist

Download the Google Expeditions App on all devices and find select the expedition Biomes.

Explore the expedition and locate points of interest.

Review the video content in the Lesson resources section to update your knowledge and develop some teaching ideas.

Lesson steps
  1. Introduction (10 mins)
    Students watch the trailer for The Man Who Stopped the Desert.
    Students create a map of desertification of the Sahel and the Sahara Desert using the map provided (see Map Student Sheet in the Lesson resources section).
  2. Expedition (20 mins)
    Lead the expedition explaining that the Sahel region is Savannah biome turning into a desert due to the process of desertification. Students compare and contrast the two biomes (Savannah and Desert). Use the climate graphs to describe how temperature and precipitation in the two biomes are similar and how they differ (these climate graphs may have been created during the introductory lesson to the biomes – if not, students should research online to locate climate graphs for these regions).
  3. Activity (30 mins)
    Students research the causes of desertification online. Students complete the table showing the human and natural causes of desertification (see– Savannah and Desert Causes of desertification Student Sheet).

    Students write a three-page report titled “The Sahel: Savanna turning into Desert”.
    Students imagine they work for the UN and have been asked to investigate the Sahel. Their report must include a section on the following:
    • The location of the Sahel & Sahara.
    • Description of the plants and animals found in both Biomes.
    • Description of the process of desertification.
    • The impacts of desertification.
    • Suggestions for ways to stop the desert.
  4. Extension
    Use the links in Lesson Resources section to complete research in more detail.
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