I will begin this lesson with a class discussion about animals. I will ask students to think about animals at the zoo. How do they get there? Are they native to their zoo habitat? I will ask students to think, pair, share what they believe happens when non-native plants and animals are introduced to a new habitat. I will give an example of bamboo growing in the state of Maryland.
I will allow time for the students to share their ideas. I will explain to students that some times non-native plants and animals are sometimes able to grow and survive in new environments. These particular plants and animals are called invasive species; such as the bamboo in Maryland or European Ivy, or Stink Bugs.
I will inform students that sometimes these invasive species can be dangerous to habitats because they do not have predators and they can quickly overpopulate the environment.
Students will view two video resources, Invasive Spescies I and Invasive Species II from Discovery Education that provide background information on invasive species and how they can effect an environment.
Prior to playing the video to the students, I will distribute an Invasive Species Worksheet that students can complete while watching the video or after. I will review the questions on the resource prior to playing the video. Reviewing the questions prior to playing the video allows the students to grasp an understanding of the purpose for the video, while also allowing the students to ask any questions they may have prior to the video.
To conclude the lesson, students will transition back to the carpet for a whole group discussion. We will review the student responses to the answers on the Invasive Species Resource Worksheet. Students will be encouraged to elaborate on their thinking to convey a complete understanding of the lesson.
Lastly, students will be instructed to work in groups to create posters to bring awareness to invasive species and what we as a school can do to limit the number of invasive species in our area. Students will be given the opportunity to share their posters.