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Author: Meagan Leatherbury
  1. Provide real world examples in order to develop a concept map or chart outlining the locations and characteristics of the savannas.

  2. Explore the vegetation and life within this environment, and the precarious balance needed to maintain that life.

  3. Introduce the new vocabulary and definitions, reiterating them throughout the lesson.

  4. Keep to the basic information with activities to allow practice with the new content material.

This learning packet should help a learner seeking to understand the varied and diverse environment of the savannas and its effect on living things.

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Savanna podcast

Listen to this 4-minute podcast to discover what a savanna is, where you can find savannas and what kind of life they support. Scroll down to see pictures and text that reinforce what is being talked about.

This podcast was compiled using information from the following sources:

University of California Museum of Paleontology . (n.d.). The grassland biome. Retrieved from

savanna. (2011). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

Tobin A.J. &Dusheck J. (1998). Asking About Life. Orlando, FL: Saunders College Publishing.

Savannas would not exist without fire

Because savannas are dominated by grasses, periodic fires ensure that these grasses will not get shaded out by trees or shrubs. When fires occur in savannas, above-ground parts of plants get scorched. But plants have adapted to fires. They store energy in the form of starch in their underground roots. Once the fire is over and the rains come, the underground parts of plants send up new shoots. Grasses are the quickest to regrow.



Savannas are hot and have both a dry and rainy season

Savannas are found in hot places. They experience two seasons: a hot, dry season when fires occur, and a hot, rainy season when plant regrowth can occur. Most savannas are found on the continent of Africa. You can find them in Australia, South America and India as well.

map of savannas

Source: savanna. [Map]. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

Life in the Savanna

Though life in the savanna varies depending on the continent, many savannas support grazing animals – called ungulates. These grazing animals provide a food source for large, meat-eating predators. Savannas also are home to large, flightless birds like emus in Australia and ostriches in Africa. Some of their smallest and most notable residents are termites which live in mounds that can be up to 21 feet high.


giraffe in the savanna  


   Giraffes are part of the hooved, grazing group of animals

   called ungulates. Other ungulates include zebras, gazelles

   and antelopes.








Lions and other large predators hunt ungulates as

their primary source of food.






young ostrich





   Savannas also provide habitat for large flightless birds like emus in

   Australia and ostriches in Africa.







termite mound





Though small, termites can leave a big mark on the landscape

of the savanna. They build huge mounds up to 21 feet high.

Termites are an important food source for many birds and small

animals in the savanna.







Photos credits:

Giraffe in savanna by biberta at

Lion: by somadjinn at

Ostrich: by ardelfin at

Termite mound: by ciamabue at







Savannas slide-show review

This slide-show review allows you to recall information presented in the packet above and test your understanding of savannas and the life they support.

Source: Slideshow created by Meagan Leatherbury