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What's Native and We're Being Invaded are two complimentary lessons that introduce students to the topic of invasive species through hands-on activities that focus on plants. The learning by doing approach is particularly appealing and fosters an appreciation for the interdependence of nature. After participating in these lessons students will be able to:
This resource is particularly appropriate for grades K-3 and supports learning outcomes related to plants, conservation and sustainability. While exploring and categorizing plant species in "What's Native?" students could identify and describe important structural features such as seed type. They could also compare seed distribution methods of native and non-native plants.
The suggested field trip could become the basis of a class project in which students catalogue and map the presence of invasive plants in a local habitat. The information could support a community-based action initiative that has the class work with citizens to organize an invasive plant pulling event or a public awareness campaign.
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
This resource's attention to various points of view is age appropriate for grades K-3. Students will recognize and understand invasive species transport mechanisms and will also be able to identify personal actions that can prevent the spread of invasive plants.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
The activities in these two lessons specifically address the environmental impacts of invasive species. However, discussion opportunities are plentiful and can be used to engage students in conversations about the social and economic impacts of non-native plants.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The simple approach of the activities is well designed to meet the needs of very young learners. The connection between particular species and their habitats is recognized during the "We're Being Invaded!" game and the resource also suggests an outdoor exploration to encourage thinking about invasive species impacts at the ecosystem level.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
Although no specific action projects are identified, the invasive species topic opens pathways to community-based projects such as public education.
|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
During the debriefing of "We're Being Invaded!" the class is asked to consider the impacts of invasive species on other plants and animals. In this discussion students are able to express their own views about the importance of protecting ecosystems.
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
|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
There is a suggestion to extend the "What's Native?" lesson with an outdoor exploration where students can practice plant identification and classification skills. This activity will effectively connect in-class learning to a meaningful nature experience.
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Biodiversity in all areas of Canada is being impacted by invasive plants and animals that compete with native species and degrade ecosystem health. Using pictures of local species for both activities will focus attention on specific threats within the communities in which students live.
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
Teachers can make use of the resource background information and web links to show older students how invasive species have become established in Canada. The debriefing with each activity engages all students in discussions about current threats to native plants and animals and encourages refection about conservation.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
Students are active participants in both lessons and have several opportunities to express their own ideas.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This resource has been developed to meet science objectives but the "We're Being Invaded!" game supports physical education outcomes. There are also some visual art components in the compilation of pictures and poster design in the "What's Native?" lesson.
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Because plants are universally familiar the subject matter of this resource allows students to connect with prior learning to uncover new facts and relationships. The suggested field trip to a local habitat also provides an opportunity to practice new skills in an authentic context.
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Although no differentiation strategies are identified, the active nature of both lessons will especially appeal to kinesthetic learners.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The experiential aspect of this resource could be easily increased with the recommended field trip to a local natural area.
Authentic learning experiences are provided
The "What's Native?" lesson can be set up as a whole class or small group activity. Using the small group approach would foster peer communication and discussion.
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
This resource does not include any formal strategies for assessment but some formative assessment can occur when students are asked to classify and sort animals and plants in the "What's Native?" activity.
|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.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
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
The companion field trip would activate scientific inquiry skills as students explore a local habitat to observe and identify plants. This process could be enhanced by having students design a project where they catalogue and map important features of the area including the locations of any invasive plants they find.
|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.