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In this ESD board game students assume the characteristics of native or introduced plants to experience first-hand the influence of species interactions and changing environmental conditions on ecosystems. It also provides an excellent framework for exploring the ecosystem concept; including ecosystem organization, regulation of populations, species diversity, the adaptations of organisms, attributes of successful invaders and the impact of invasion on communities.
Each student adopts the characteristics of one of six plant species which interact with each other while moving around the game board. The object of the game is to be the plant with the largest population in the community. After each round of play students rank the population size of plant species from largest to smallest and record this data in a table. After three rounds group data is tabulated and discussion questions completed. Game-play data is then pooled from all groups, and the entire class undertakes an analysis of the results.
Extension activities include suggestions for a research project and presentation describing a local invasive species, collecting data on invasive species abundance on school grounds or in a nearby area, creating identification cards for plants in their area and organizing and participating in a local project to remove invasive species.
Teachers may choose to use the game to introduce the concepts of ecosystem interactions and invasive species, or to help students internalize concepts following the study of invasives. The game also has application in Social Studies and Geography courses that address human interactions with the environment.
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 participate in the board game and learn about the interactions among species, both native and non-native.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
It is implied that the introduction of non-native plants by humans has economic implications with regards to agricultural productivity, as well as the costs associated in controlling the damage.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
This resource focuses on the interaction between species, the threat to biodiversity, and the dangers of changing plant communities.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Action plans are suggested as extensions to the game, but are not supported by the resource.
|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
The resource gives students an opportunity to do some self-reflection and identify their own opinions and values. There could be more opportunities for students to share and clarify what their own actions could be.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|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||Good|
Students are encouraged to pay more attention to factors which upset ecosystems and threaten biodiversity in the natural world.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
There are invasive species all around us. The resource may motivate students to go outdoors and survey their area for non-native and invasive species.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The board game serves to simulate the current situation of invasive species outcompeting native species and disrupting the balance of ecosystems. The future would be seen as positive only if the students use what they have learned to springboard into action.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students participate in the board game and develop their own thoughts and opinions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Thiis resource addresses outcomes in science, biology, environmental science, geography and social studies.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Activities include pre-game instructions, the game itself, and wrap-up discussion questions.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
The resource suggests that students be evaluated based on their participation in both the game and class discussion questions. No rubric is provided.
|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: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The game is based on actual plant species in real ecosystems.
|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||Satisfactory|
There are opportunities in the extension activities to go deeper into chosen issues.
|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.|