Lesson Plan

Invasive Invaders

Emerald Ash Borer - Invasive Species
Emeral Ash Borer - Invasive Species


By being directly involved with real issues and problems, students learn the skills and create a desire to be proactive with non-native invasive species.


Explain/define invasive species and their effect on natural communities.

Identify five local invasive plants and two invasive pests by sight, plant keys or fact sheets.

Recognize Asian Longhorned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer, their damage or evidence of activity.

Articulate possible problems, issues and effects of invasive species.

Gain an understanding of the scope of the invasive issues.

Understand the importance of current actions to eradicate and control invasive species.




The invasion of exotic plants and pests into our natural forest and woodland community is an ever growing real issue that all humans will deal with in some way soon. This study is not currently part of my forestry curriculum but I believe it should be and will soon be required. This unit is an attempt to arm my students with the information, knowledge and skills to educate others and manage exotic invasive species.


Lesson One: Students will become aware of the issues around invasive species including plants, animals, fungi, bacterial, and viruses.
45-60 minutes

Lesson Two: Students will understand the difference between native plants, exotic plants, exotic invasive plants and how they fit in natural communities.
45-60 minutes

Lesson Three: Students will be able to identify and explain the difference between exotic species and invasive exotic species.

Lesson Four: Students will collect exotic invasive plants and identify by sight or identification guides and other resources.
1.5-2 hours

Lesson Five: Students will become familiar with five local invasive plants including: Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Barberry, Multiflora Rose, Common Buckthorn, Amur Honeysuckle and exotic pests such as Asian Longhorned Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. They will gather information and construct fact sheets for each species. (5 sheets)
1-1.5 hours for each sheet

Lesson Six: Student will demonstrate the ability to analyze data and formulate a logical response to control/eradicate on exotic plant found at the Mallory lot.
90 minutes

Lesson Seven: To remove the Japanese Knotweed in a manner that will kill the plants currently growing and not cause another infestation on site, down stream or any other locations.
5 hours

Lesson Eight: Students will think about the long term effects of invasive species and how our lives may change as a result.


Accurate completion of the worksheet for the article At War with Invasive Species.

Completed written invasive species definition.

A collection of five invasive plant leaves, stems, and or flower samples with site map and location found noted.

Accurate completion of five invasive plant and two invasive pest fact sheets.

Completed eradication plan.

Written summary of how invasive species may impact your life.

Park Connections

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller actively manages invasive species within the park boundaries.


The methods which seem to work best for my students are hands on activities in real life issues and problems. With this in mind, I was looking for class activities to generate interest and concern on a personal level, offer opportunities to learn skills and create a desire to be proactive with exotic invasive issues.

Additional Resources

Marie Caduto - Watershed Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation 1-802-885-8958

Sylvia Harris - Agricultural Resources/ Basin Planner, Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District 1-802-254-5323 ext.105 sylvia.harris@vt.nacdnet.net

Jolene Hamilton- District Manager, Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District 1-802-254-5323 ext. 104

William Guenther, Windham County Forester, University of Vermont Extension Service 1-802-257-7967 ext. 15

Barbara Burns, Resource Prot. Reg. Supervisor, Department of Forests, Parks &Recreation, 1-802-885-8821

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Foods & Markets 1- 802- 828-2341
The Nature Conservancy of Vermont 1-802-229-4425
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation 1-802-241-3777
Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife 1-802-241-3715
Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation 1-802-241-3678

Web Sites:
United States Department of Agriculture - Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide - www.na.fs.fed.us


invasives, non-natives, exotic, species, proactive, eradication