In this activity NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) aligned activity, students (Part 1:) watch a short video that defines invasive species, and enumerates on the harm that invasive species cause. Students use an outline provided to take notes. In Part 2, Students select a specific invasive species (from a list of 30) and create a short presentation on the organism. Then they present to their classmates. In Part 3, students evaluate the statement, “Humans are one of the most invasive species to ever occupy Earth”. This is offered as a written conclusion, but I have run it as a class discussion as well. Part 4 is an optional “Going further” task involving the relationship between invasive species and the Law of Unintended Consequences.
A. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS HEREIN
DCI’s: LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
Cross Cutting Concepts: Cause and Effect, Systems and System Models, Stability and Change
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Mission to Mars is fun Ecology project, in which students create a self-sustaining mini-ecosystem to feed astronauts on the long trip to Mars. It is packed with Next Generation Science Standards.
Get it here: Mission to Mars
"Adaptations Project" involves researching a specific organism's adaptations, and constructing a physical model of an adaptation. It is NGSS aligned.
Get it here: Adaptations Project
"Endangered Species Project" requires students to design and present a Recovery Plan for an Endangered Species of their choice.
Get it here: Endangered Species Project
Do you want your students to carry out a study to conserve water? Here is a NGSS aligned lab for that.
Get it here: Design a Study to Conserve Water
"Food Chain Model Game" is a fun, inquiry-based activity in which students write rules to a game that models food-chains. It is NGSS Aligned.
Get it here: Food Chain Model Game
"Populations Lab " walks students through two ways to estimate the size of populations, and then asks students to design/carry out a study to estimate the size of a local population. It is NGSS Aligned.
Get it here: Populations Lab
B. SUGGESTED USES
Prior Knowledge: No specific prior knowledge is required
Materials and Setup: Students will need this download, and internet access.
Part 1: 20 minutes – straight forward; students use the video link to guide them
Part 2: Research: 1 Class (depends upon how much time in class vs.
homework). Ensure that students are using legitimate/credible resources. Go over the rubric with them I show my students an example of slide that isn’t overcrowded with info.
Presenting: It should take the majority of a class, or 1 full class. Students can start
part 3 if they finish presenting early. A graphic organizer is provided for
the students to take notes while other are presenting. I use the
presentation rubric to grade students in real-time, as they are
Part 3: If written, it can be assigned for homework. If you decide to evaluate the statement in a class discussion, then it usually takes 15 or 20 minutes.
Part 4: I’ve used part 4 for some classes, and not for others. If you decide to use it, it usually takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
My students have a lot of fun with this activity. If yours liked it, there are more like this at my TpT store:
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