Lesson Plan

Invasive Species Raising Awareness

A man in safety gear using a chain saw on an invasive bush

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Subject:
Science
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
8.RI.8, 6-8.RST.1, 6-8.RST.7, 6-8.RST.8, 8.SL.4
Additional Standards:
MS-LS2-1
MS-LS2-2
MS-LS2-4
MS-LS2-5

Objective

This activity encourages students / teachers to make a difference in the area they live in and either (1) educate the public about invasive species, (2) change your lifestyle to prevent introduction of invasive species, or (3) take on a project to highlight and/or eradicate an invasive species in your area.  After an introduction to the learning objective, student groups start to brainstorm ideas of things they can do in their community and create an action plan.

Background

Often students feel that they are unable to make changes in the world. This activity encourages students / teachers to make a difference in the area they live in and either (1) educate the public about invasive species, (2) change your lifestyle to prevent introduction of invasive species, or (3) take on a project to highlight and/or eradicate an invasive species in your area. After an introduction to the learning objective, student groups start to brainstorm ideas of things they can do in their community and create an action plan. Individual groups can then carry out their plans or as a class vote for the action plan that they will approach as a large group to accomplish one of the three possibilities to change.

 

Change often starts at the grass roots level and this activity gives students a chance to make a difference within their community. Many city governments have projects going on that students could get involved in stopping the spread of invasive species. Government agencies at all levels (national, state, and local) are often willing to work with groups to accomplish their own projects to preserve the native plants and animals in their habitat. At the national level there is invasive species information on individual states or a list of plants for each state. Other possible resources: many county and city governments have natural resource programs, typically land grant universities will house Cooperative Extension Offices.

Preparation

30-60 minutes to review activity, collect materials, and run off paper copies

Materials

PowerPoint 1: To use in preview or lesson hook

Download Invasive Species 3: Raising Awareness

Attachment 1

Download Invasive Species 3: Invasive Species Action Plan

Lesson Hook/Preview

(10-15 minutes)

Use the PowerPoint 1, “Invasive Species 3: Raising Awareness” to challenge students to define the learning target for the day. Show Slide 1 and ask students based on the pictures what they think the learning target is for the day. After discussion, you can show them the second slide for further help or for validation of their ideas.

Procedure

(Time will vary)

1. Students are challenged to think of an action plan that they can carry out to change something in their community in relation to invasive species. Show a video to inspire them that no matter how small an act it can make a difference. If you want kids to take on a project eradicating invasive species in your area, show a video highlighting a local project that would be a great addition to getting kids thinking about what they can do. If no local video is available this National Park Service video highlights efforts being made with Gr8 Lakes Restoration. Once an invasive species is introduced to an area, it is not always possible to carry out an eradication project in which case students may choose to address one of the two other areas: (1) educate the public about invasive species through various types of media, or (2) changes in your lifestyle to prevent introduction of invasive species to native areas.

 

2. Divide students into groups to work on their action plans using the Attachment1, “Invasive Species 3: Raising Awareness”

Vocabulary

environment, invasive species, eradication

Assessment Materials

Explanation and Extension

Explanation:

(Time will vary)

Students will present their different ideas to the class. If as a group, they are going to pick one project to work on, allow the students to vote on the project they would like to pursue.

 

Extension:

(Dependent upon action plan)

Students will carry out their action plan.

Additional Resources

Created By:

Mary Klass, Geological Society of America, Geocorps America Program; Retired Poudre School District, Fort Collins, CO, Science Teacher


"Introduced, Invasive, and Noxious Plants." USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service. United States Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. 

"Invasive Plant Species Invasive Species Education | The Nature Conservancy." Invasive Plant Species Invasive Species Education | The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/habitats/forests/help/invasive-plant-species-invasive-species-education-1.xml>.

"Invasive Species: Resource Library - Invasive Species Lists: Individual States." Invasive Species: Resource Library - Invasive Species Lists: Individual States. United States Department of Agriculture, 31 Jan. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/resources/lists4states.shtml>.

"Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources." Controlling Invasive Species. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 1 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/control.html>.

Featured Photo: NPS Photo. 

Related Lessons or Education Materials

Invasive Species Go-Around (Invasive Species #1)

Imvasive Species Children's Storybook (Invasive Species #2)

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