This project-based learning assessment explores ecology concepts through the context of invasive species. Students should already have an understanding of ecosystem structure and ecological relationships, and they should have been introduced to the idea of changes in ecosystems. This assessment is completely aligned to NGSS MS-LS2-4 and MS-LS2-5, but it can also be adapted for the high school level.
In this activity, students research an invasive species, exploring how it has disrupted the ecosystem and affected native populations. They will create a WANTED poster to present their findings, and then they will work in teams to develop a Community Action Plan to halt the spread of the species and/or reduce the population levels of the invasive species in their region. Student groups can present their plans in any way you choose, and then students will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each plan in light of the constraints identified at the beginning of the activity. Both parts of the project are fully aligned to the NGSS and related Evidence Statements for NGSS MS-LS2-4 and MS-LS2-5.
These activities are part of a unit designed to meet the following standards:
MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
What’s Included in the 5E Activity Pack?
✻ WANTED: An Invasive Species Research Activity
⇾ Sources Evaluation Sheet
⇾ Sources Organizer
⇾ Research Graphic Organizer (Lines & Unlined)
⇾ Poster Instructions (Two Versions)
⇾ Poster Rubric
✻ Designing Solutions: A Community Action Plan
⇾ Student Instruction Sheet
⇾ Action Plan Analysis Sheets
⇾ Action Plan Rubric
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