Mar 202012

Invasive tree Norway maple, growing near KBS

Invasive species are non-native, introduced species that have a negative impact on the habitats they invade. Invasive species can be plants, animals, or microorganisms, and the damage they can cause to native ecosystems can be devastating. What is it about these species that allow them to successfully invade different habitats? Does the environment itself also play a role in how likely it is that an invasion will take place? In this lesson plan students will explore what it means to be an invasive species. They will learn what traits make a good invader as well as what environmental conditions favor invasion. Students will also get a chance to observe and interpret graphs and figures from real world research on invasive species. Finally, students will have the opportunity to play a game that simulates an invasive species spreading through Michigan, and students have to implement different methods to control its spread.

At the conclusion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain what an invasive species is and provide several local examples of invasivespecies
  • Understand what traits help invasive species spread
  • Understand what environmental factors facilitate invasion
  • Interpret graphs and figures of real world data from several invasive species
  • Understand the different methods that have been used to control the spread of invasive¬†species


Lesson plan and game created by GK-12 Fellows Michael Kuczynski and Kate Steensma, 2011

 Posted by on March 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm  Lessons