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Invasive species cause tremendous environmental damage by altering ecosystem balance, impacting water quality and reducing biodiversity. The key to mitigating the impacts of these aliens is prevention. This resource explores how invasive species can disrupt aquatic habitats by engaging students in games and research that stimulate curiosity. Learning is focused on positive action as students achieve the following outcomes:
This resource supports Science units that explore habitats, interactions within ecosystem, food webs and human impacts on environmental sustainability. The lesson could also be used to reinforce key concepts prior to a field trip to explore an aquatic habitat.
This lesson could also be extended by having students use new scientific learning in meaningful conservation initiatives. Promoting boat washing at local lakes, raising community awareness of how to prevent the spread of invasive species and organizing a plant "pulling" event are all examples of community based action projects.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
Students learn that invasive species introductions are usually not a conscious choice but result from accidental entries into habitats. This idea promotes a problem solving strategy that focuses on constructive solutions instead of destructive blame.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
This resource takes a holistic approach to examining invasive species impacts by defining how habitats, biodiversity, fisheries and recreation are all affected
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students are able to explore scientific cause and effect relationships and use this information to describe interactions within ecosystems and develop new ideas about conservation.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Students define and describe personal conservation goals that may help slow the spread of invasive species.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Satisfactory|
The "Ecosystem Web Activity" highlights how invasive species disrupt the natural balance of habitats. This demonstration supports the development of a stewardship ethic.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
This resource is very content specific for Georgian Bay. However, the topic is high profile environmental concern across Canada and the resource could become more locally focused by substituting examples of invasive plants and animals found nearby.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
Students are encouraged to become active participants in preventing the spread of invasive species in their community.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Open ended questions support critical thinking and analysis as students formulate ideas about ecosystem impacts of invasive species.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The use of the food web activity and the jeopardy game encourages active engagement and motivates students to become involved in the learning by formulating ideas and opinions.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Poor/Not considered|
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
A teacher could enhance the experiential aspect of this lesson with an outdoor component that surveys a local habitat for the presence of invasive plants like purple loosestrife.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Assessment strategies are limited in this resource but questioning and "Invasive Species Crime Scene" worksheet could be used as a formative assessment.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Students examine videos of authentic problems in the Georgian Bay region. Many of the plants and animals examined are found in other regions of Canada.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Poor/Not considered|
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|