How to Make a Desert Biome in a Shoe Box

Make a biome of a desert habitat for a class project.
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Students will learn about biomes in science class. A biome includes the animals, plants and weather conditions that are found in one particular region. Once students understand the concept of a biome, they can pick one to study. You must research the biome you chose, such as a desert biome, before doing the project. Desert biomes, for example, have dry climates, plants that do not require very much water and animals that can burrow during the day to get out of the heat. The information you gather can be turned into an educational model.

    Paint the bottom of your shoebox a beige color. Sprinkle some sand over the paint while it is still wet. The sand will stay in place once the paint dries.

    Paint the sides of the shoe box a sky blue. You may also want to add a sun on one of the sides.

    Glue several desert plant figurines to the bottom of the shoe box with a hot glue gun. Barrel Cacti, Joshua Trees, Mojave Asters, Saguaro Cacti, Soaptree Yuccas and Pancake Prickly Pear Cacti are all examples of desert plants that you can add to your desert biome.

    Note: Use photographs from a magazine if you can't find any figurines.

    Add desert animal figurines to your shoe box using hot glue. Possible animals to include are bactrian camel, dromedary camels, jackals, jack rabbits, porcupines, tortoises, snakes and gophers.

    Note: If you don't have any animal figurines, you can use pictures from a magazine instead.

    Complete the desert biome with any other desert items you want to include, such as rocks, pebbles or hay bales.

    Things You'll Need

    • Shoe box
    • Paint
    • Paintbrush
    • Sand
    • Desert plant pictures/figures
    • Desert animal pictures/figures
    • Hot glue gun
    • Rocks, pebbles or hay bales


    • If you are required to submit a report about desert biomes with your shoe box model, discuss the desert's hot daytime temperatures and cold nighttime temperatures. Include information on rain and sand storms.

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