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Invasive Species Independent Research Report

Unit Plan: Invasive SpeciesTime: Two 45-minute lessons, separated by2 weeks Setting: Classroom
6-8, 9-12Hudson River Ecology
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Students will know that aquatic communities change composition based on vegetation types and be able to explain the differences.


1. Students select a local invasive species to research 2. Students conduct research 3. Students present the results of their research


  • Copies of invasive species list
  • Copies of "How to do Research"
  • Library access

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.

Lesson Files

Student handout
How to do research
Hudson Region Invasive Species List

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

1B Scientific Inquiry, 5A Diversity of Life, 11C Constancy and Change, 12D Communication Skills

NYS Standards

MST 1 - Mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information