What is biodiversity?

  • Durée de préparation None
  • Durée de réalisation 20 minutes
  • Niveau d'enseignement
    Elementary: Cycle 3
  • Domaine de formation
    Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities
    Education to the environment
  • Domaine d'apprentissage
    mathematics science and technology
    English as a Second Language
  • Compétences transversales
    • Use information
    • Solve problems
    • Exercise critical judgment
    • Communicate appropriately
  • Compétences disciplinaires

    Science and technology – to explore the word of science and technology – To communicate in the languages used in science and technology

Matériel requis


Intention pédagogique

Help students refine their understanding of biodiversity.


Guided discussion to understand what biodiversity is.

Ask students what they think biodiversity is.

Part 1: Species diversity – Ask the students to name some living things (plants and animals) that they know in their environment. Name several. – Help them to realize that there are two types of living things: plants and animals. – Ask them if all animals are the same, then make them realize that there are many types of animals: birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mammals, etc. – Select one type of animal (mammals, for example), ask the students if all mammals are the same, then have them name different mammals living in their region. Help them realize the diversity that exists among mammals.

- Make the students realize that there is just as much diversity among other types of animals and that this diversity also exists in the plant world. Make them understand that all of this variety is part of biodiversity.

(Note: If the students ask about what humans are, lead them to discover what distinguishes plants from animals and note that humans are more like animals than plants.)

Part 2: Diversity of ecosystems – Ask students if the species they found are the same all over the planet, then invite them to name species they know that live elsewhere on earth (e.g., dolphin, koala, eucalyptus, banana, scorpion, etc.). – Then help them understand that in every region of the world, there are a wide variety of plants and animals, and that they are different from region to region. Explain that in each area, these varieties of plants and animals live together a bit like a family, and we call this “family” an ecosystem. Help them find a few examples of animals and plants that you might find, for example, in a desert, an ice field, or in the ocean. – Sum up by reminding students that biodiversity is: – the variety of all species, – the variety of all ecosystems.


Suggestion for continuation
Have students estimate how many species they think are living on earth. Compare their estimate to the number put forth by scientists: 1,727,386 described species.
Explain that new species are being discovered every day, and that scientists estimate that there are probably between 10 and 100 million species on the planet, but most have not yet been identified.



Télécharger le pdf!