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Teaching About Invasive Species

      Post - Secondary Programs

      Opportunities for Education 

   

   Do you want to teach your students about Invasive Species?

The Invasive Species Centre (ISC) is unique in that it is the only organization in Ontario that focuses solely on invasive species.

Would you like to have one place to look for resources that provide lesson plans relating to this topic?

The Invasive Species Centre has amalgamated a list of resources including unit and lesson plans in one place for educators.

Do you want lesson plans that are linked to the Ontario Educational Curriculum Standards?

The Invasive Species Centre has a list of lesson plans with links to the Ontario curriculum expectations and some with links to the Pan-Canadian Protocol for Collaboration on School Curricular expectations.

Do you want to include outdoor or experiential learning opportunities about invasive species for your students to help reinforce the in-class subject matter?

The lesson plans included in the list of resources are identified by grade level and whether they contain experiential learning, games, evaluations and online activities to make planning easier and more specific to your individual needs.

Do you know where your students can get a post-secondary education in Ontario if they want a career involving invasive species?

The ISC has gathered a list of Ontario educational institutions which have programs geared towards environmental issues and science and the possible career choices that students would expect to obtain on graduating.

What if your students want to learn more than you have time to teach in the classroom?

Many of the lesson plans contain links to additional resources and learning opportunities including community linked outreach events.

Did we miss you? Do you have resources that you would like to share on the Invasive Species Centre Education page?

The Invasive Species Centre welcomes your submission of successful lesson plans that you have developed regarding invasive species instruction and/or experiential learning activities to be considered for inclusion with our resource list. Also, if your organization has lesson plans which you feel should be included in this list please contact us and we would be happy to discuss the possibility of adding them.

Note: Lesson plans are provided by external sources and have not been peer reviewed by the ISC. The ISC does not take responsibility for the accuracy or stated outcomes of these lesson plans and notes that they may not be inclusive of all that are currently available.



Activity Title

Grade Level

Meets Specific Curricular Outcomes

Lesson Plan

In class Activity

Out of Class Activity

Games

Online Activity

Assessment Tools

Notes

 Invent your own device to battle invasive species 9 to 12  Yes    Yes  Yes No   No  No  Yes 1 lesson plan about how lionfish got into Florida's reefs, how they effect their new environment, how they are being managed, and new technology to save the environment they are effecting. 
 Tackle Invasive Species 'Hands-on" with your Students!  K to 12 Yes   Yes Yes  Yes  Yes  No   No  8 activities and games for a variety of age groups teaching them what invasive species are, how they effect their new environment, and how to identify them. 
 Biodiversity is Best  6 Yes   Yes  Yes  No  No  Yes  Yes  An inquiry-based unit of 6 activities where students will learnt hat conserving and protecting our water supply is necessary for biodiversity and biodiversity is necessary for the health of our planet.
 Invent you Own Device to Battle Invasive Species  9 to 12 Yes   Yes  Yes  No No   No  Yes 1 lesson plan about how lionfish got into Florida's reefs, how they effect their new environment, how they are being managed, and new technology to save the environment they are effecting. 
 Tackle Invasive Species 'Hands-on" with your Students!  K to 12  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  8 activities and games for a variety of age groups teaching them what invasive species are, how they effect their new environment, and how to identify them.
 Invasive Species   7 - 10  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  Yes  Students are introduced to the topic of invasive species and presented with several Canadian examples. Using theme, students will explore the difference between open and closed ended questions. Students will research and write a report based on an open ended question about invasive species.
 Double Whammy in a Bag   8-12 Yes   Yes  Yes  Yes Yes   No  Yes  Students will create a game about the double whammy of invasive species and climate change and how together they will affter biodiversity, the economy, the environment, and the inhabitants in your region.
 Double Trouble  K to 12  Yes   Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  Yes  Students will research the interdependencies among plants and animals in an ecosystem and explore the role climate plays in their survival. They will compare ecosystems from different parts of the world by learning more about invasive species in their own back yard and also about their place of origin. They will use these comparisons to determine if a species could survive in a new ecosystem and form hypotheses on the effects climate change might have on their movement and survival. Finally they will share what they learned with their classmates and the community.
 Get the Lingo!  K to 12 Yes   Yes  Yes   No  Yes  No  Yes  In a variation of Bingo, students use climate change and AIS (aquatic invasive species) terms and definitions to fill up squares on a board to be the first to go LINGO!
Making Connections: Climate Change and AIS   K to 12  Yes Yes   Yes  No  No  No  No  This lesson plan suggests one way to help students interact with new material. They will list vocabulary words they already know about climate change and aquatic invasive species, and sort those words into related groups. Then as they learn new words, students will add them to the groups of words they already know. Estimated class time: one class period for the initial lesson, plus one optional class period at the end of the unit.
 Visualizing changes in the Earth System: Climate Change and Invasive Species  K to 12 Yes   Yes  Yes  No  No  No  Yes  At the conclusion of the lesson, students will be able to: Provide examples of potential impacts caused by climate change Discuss various interpretations of the role that climate change can play in the establishment and spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes Recognize some common native and invasive species in the Great Lakes.
 What Makes a Good Invader?  K to 12  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  No  No  Students will learn about invasive species in the Great Lakes ecosystem and explore the characteristics that make species good invaders, factors that can influence invasive communities, and the role climate change may play in causing and proliferating invasions. This lesson is most appropriate for the 4th -6 th grade, but could be used in higher grades. The activity can complement ecological concepts such as population, community, niche, and invasive species
 Great Lakes Most Unwanted  4 to 8  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  No  No  Students work in small groups to organize invasive species cards, featuring facts and photos. Each group presents a different invasive species in a poster or fact sheet to the class.
 Aquatic Invaders!
 K to 12  No No Yes Yes Yes No No  Contains a range of activities to help youth learn about invasive species and their impacts, and ways we all can help prevent their spread. Primarily focused on aquatic invasive species but can be adapted for any invasive species classification.
Unwelcome Guests 7 No Yes Yes No No Yes No Lesson focuses on exotic and invasive species and their presence in Canada. Activity involves developing a Futures Wheel which can be used to explore the impacts of introducing an invasive species.
Invasive Species 6 to 12 No No Yes No No No No 2 videos, pdf & powerpoint about invasive species in Great lakes.
Carpageddon 4 to 8 No No Yes No No No Yes 1 TV episode about Asian Carp along with a question and answer sheet about facts in the episode. Can download teacher's guide and other resources
The Arrival of Invasive Species to the Great Lakes 6 to 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No One lesson plan about arrival of aquatic invasive species to the Great Lakes
Alien Invaders 6 to 7 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No One lesson over 2 classes that introduces students to the concept of invasive species using independent research, key word sheet, internet links
Wanted! Invasive Plants 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No 1 lesson plan for a field trip and associated classroom activity about invasive plants & poster construction
Invaders in Our Waters K to 12 Yes No No No No No No Videos focusing on pathways of concern
Invasive Species Investigation-Biodiversity 6 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 4 part lesson plan with experiential learning activities where students are introduced to the concept of alien and invasive species and research what is being done to control them.
Invaders - Ladybug Field Study 4 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Students photograph and ID ladybug species and share online with Cornell U scientists with citizen science study. Discuss native and invasive species.
 The Invaders  7-10  Yes  Yes  Yes  No No  Yes  No  4 mini lessons about invasive species with report writing, asking questions, answer questions about a video
 Know Me, Know My Adaptations  4 Yes  Yes   Yes No  Yes  No  Yes  Game about identifying adaptations and survival and concept of invasive species. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources.
 Sun Block  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No No   Game where students emulate the transfer of food energy in a lake habitat and compare scenarios between a healthy habitat and one disrupted by an invasive plant. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources.
 Changing Chains   4 Yes  Yes  Yes  No  Yes  No  No   Students create food chains from familiar animal and plant species and examine the impacts from invasive species. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources.
 Aquarium Ownership is An Art   4  Yes  Yes Yes   No  Yes  No No Students create posters to demonstrate responsible pet ownership and what happens when they release into local waterways. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources. 
 Musical Mussels   4 Yes   Yes Yes  Yes   Yes  No  No  Version of musical chairs where students compete as aquatic species. Highlights how certain adaptations enable invasive species to outcompete native species. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources.
 Tough Ruffe  4  Yes  No No Yes   Yes  No  No Simulation where students demonstrate the struggle for survival in a lake habitat between healthy habitat and disrupted by invasive species. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources. 
 Stow-Aways and Crafty Ways  4  Yes  Yes  Yes No   Yes No  No  Mapping and prediction activity where students explore the ways invasive species can migrate through the waters of Ontario. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources.
 The Ultimate Species  Yes  Yes  Yes  No   Yes No   No  Students create their own aquatic species and compare with classmates to determine those with adaptations that would make them potentially invasive. Support materials and warm-up/wrap-up activities, background materials and teaching resources.
 Sea Lamprey Suck!  6
Yes   Yes  Yes  No  Yes  No  No  Students learn about seal lamprey using kinesthetic learning strategies to complete an activity circuit. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Graffiti Gallery  6  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  No  Yes  Students draw and discuss their understanding of biodiversity and invading species. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Invader Web Quest   6 Yes  Yes   Yes No   Yes  Yes  Yes  Students follow an internet quest to research a given invading species. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Surprise Hitchhikers  6  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  No  Yes  Simulation activity where students are introduced to invasive species and learn how they spread and become established in a new area. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Biodiversity Give and Take  6  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  Yes  No  No  Game where students learn about threats to biodiversity and actions that help to sustain biodiversity. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Ballast Water Debate  6  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No No   No  Students consider and debate issues related to ballast water control. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Invader Take Over  6  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  Yes  No  Yes Game where invader take over illustrates concept of species loss and competitive advantage. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources. 
 Seeking Invaders   6  Yes  Yes  No  Yes  No  No Yes   Students do field work to look for, identify and report local invading species. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.
 Spread the Word, Not the Invaders   6  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  No  Yes Students create a presentation about the importance of preserving biodiversity and preventing the spread of invasive species. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources. 
 Diversity Jeopardy   6 Yes   Yes  Yes No   Yes  No  Yes  Simplified version of Jeopardy, students create game using information learned during the previous 9 lessons in the unit. Warm-up/wrap-up activities. Background materials, teachers resources.