Engage: Ask students to brainstorm a list of local invasive species. If you have used any of the invasive species lessons in this module, students should know a few. Make a list on the board, and augment with provided list if necessary. Assign species based on your preference.
Explore: Students should have several days to complete research during or after school. Students can create posters, brochures, or other materials to display what they have learned. Students should be ready to present their findings to the class.
Explain: Encourage students to think about the positive aspects of invasive species to provide a more in-depth examination of invasions. Although we generally state that “invasives are bad”, it is interesting to think about whether all invasives are bad, and what that term means to the students. Students may also want to discuss what it means for an organism to be invasive, and how long it needs to reside in a location before it becomes “native”, such as the apple tree and the earthworm. Asking students to define these terms can lead to an interesting discussion on the range of changes that invasives have caused, realizing that some things may be ‘better’ while others are certainly ‘worse’.
Extend: Students can research the eradication methods available to their invasive species, and the implications of such a plan.
Evaluate: Students complete research project.