Lesson 5B: Current Environmental Challenges: Invasive Species

Lesson 5B:  Current Environmental Challenges: Invasive Species       Grade: 7 – 12 Time:  Two class periods

Cross Curricular/Cross Lessons: 1B: Ecological Changes and Consequences; 6C: Managing the Forests

PDE Academic Standards: 1.1.11; 1.2.11; 1.6.11; 4.5.7.D; 4.5.7.B; 4.5.10.B; 4.5.12.B

Student Objectives:

–Students will discover invasive species and their economic and environmental consequences in forests through research

–Students will understand how invasive species impact forest ecology through research

–Students will by improve their geography skills by tracking such invasive species via mapping



Seeking the Greatest Good

Invasive species PowerPoint Presentation

Download Presentation as PDF

Your school library

Article in “The Day”:  http://www.theday.com/article/20110620/NWS01/306209953/-1/NWS


Anticipatory Set:  (2min)      “Moment of Zen”       Discuss the quote as it relates to both students and the topic.
“Change is uncomfortable, but without it, you may as well be a plant.”    -Anonymous
–View chapter V of Seeking the Greatest Good
–Introduce students to invasive species through the Invasive Species PowerPoint.
–Have students reach the article “Scientists link invasive barberry to Lyme disease”.  Working in groups of 3-4, have students answer the following questions:
Explain the relationship among Japanese barberry, deer ticks, and white-tailed deer.
What impact does Japanese barberry have on Lyme disease?
What other ecological problems does Japanese barberry cause?
What indirect economic problems might Japanese barberry cause?
Why do you think it is still legal to sell Japanese barberry and other ornamental invasive plants in this country?
How was Japanese barberry introduced into this country? Why?
Describe two manners in which Japanese barberry is spread.
Describe two ways people are slowing the spread of Japanese barberry in Connecticut.
–Put students into groups of 3-4 and assign each group one invasive species from the following list:
Chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica
Thousand cankers disease, caused by the walnut twig beetle Pityophthorus juglandis and an associated fungus,             Geosmithia morbida
Asian long horned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis
Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis
Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora
Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii
–Have each group work together to research their particular invasive species.  Groups should put together a 10 minute oral presentation (PowerPoint if resources are available) to answer four questions:
Explain the biology of your invasive species.
Explain how your invasive species was introduced to North America and how it spread
What are the ecological impacts of your species?
What are the economic impacts of your species?
Describe what is being done to mitigate the impact of your invasive species?

-As a class, create a map of the different invaders, where they came from and how they spread, along with their current estimated trajectory and impact into other areas of North America.
Key Question:
What are the major ecological factors that influence local ecosystems in your region?

Students will be evaluated based on their presentations and how well they grasp the material.

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