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Teaching About Invasive Species


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Table of Contents

Softcover, 80 pages

Teaching About Invasive Species is designed as a tool kit. Whether working inside or outside schools, youth educators will find in Green Teacher’s new book the innovative perspectives, program ideas, games and activities that they need to engage young people from 6-19 years of age in this challenging topic.  Invasive species, if unchecked, will continue to have significant negative impacts on our environment and on our economy.  Fortunately, the spread of many invasives can be checked. To succeed, we’ll need effective education strategies to be widely deployed. This book aims to fill that gap. Included in its pages are descriptions of 11 innovative, youth education programs, and 20 ready-to-use activities that are appropriate for various age groups.


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Table of Contents


Exotic Invasive Species: The Guests That Won’t Go Home
By Kim Cleary Sadler

Towards a Deeper Understanding of Native and Introduced Species
By Lisa Zinn, Jonathon Schramm and Laura S. Meitzner Yoder
Introducing ecological complexity to your lesson plans helps dispel harmful myths about the impact of invasive species


Tackling Aquatic Invasive Species through Education
By Bob Thomson
A fifth grade class works with community partners to control pesky aquatic invaders that have displaced many native species and encroached on the local economy

Tackling Invasive Species Using Citizen Science
By Sarah Morrisseau and Christine Voyer
Connecting student’s fieldwork to professional scientists creates real-life results

From Removal to Restoration (full pdf available)
By Steven Braun
Invasive species activities should go beyond just removal, incorporating restoration of a native habitat

Mass Pulling of Invasives  
By Andrew Stiles
Breeding weed warriors in and outside of the classroom

Plant Wars: Invaders of the Lost Park
By Daniella Rubeling
An unlikely partnership between a high school drama class and provincial park staff sparked a unique and effective invasive species education program

Studying Invasives with Project-Based Learning
By Lindsey Halman
Maximize engagement by having Grade 7-8 students develop their own research questions

Learning with Loppers
By Jessica Prince-Sharrar
Staff at a forest preserve create an ecological restoration project with high school students

Weaving with Invasive Weeds
By Sharon Kallis
An ephemeral art project reimagines invasive plant removal from weeding to harvesting

Surveying Garlic Mustard with High School Students
By Amy DeFelice
Studying urban invasives in an area close to home over several weeks, encourages high school students to make personal connections with the problem

Exploring Invasive Weed Species using Google Earth and Wikis
By Lisa Blank, Heather Almquist, Logan Mannix, Jennifer Estrada, Jeff Crews, and Sarah Halvorson
A seventh grade student research project to evaluate environmental change over time

Teaching 7-9 Year Olds to be Invader Raiders
By Rachel Gagnon
Developing a children’s activity book to teach about invasive species


Can Trees Catch the Flu?  
By Janice Alexander
Fun, hands-on activities to learn about how invasive species damage our forests and what we can do to prevent their spread

Around the World: The Invasive Species Challenge (full text available online)
By April Claus, Susie Moffett and Stacey Widenhofer
This fun activity uses different colored balls to explain the spread of invasive species, while encouraging problem-solving and team-building skills

Vectors of Spread: Invasive Species Getaway Vehicles!
By Sue Staniforth
This hand’s-on activity for Grades 2-7 helps young people appreciate how invasive species can spread from one area to another.

Create Your Own Invasive Species
By Sue Staniforth
Build-A-Species – dreaming up the perfect invasive, built to last in its new home

Invasive Species vs Biodiversity
By Jeremy Lloyd
Activities that help high school students explore park management strategies for containing invasives and preserving biodiversity

Fishing for Native Species
By Melissa Doubek and Alice Holcolm
A fishing derby that helps young students to differentiate between native and introduced species.

Invasive Species Dodge Ball
By Kim Fulton
Using rapid fire dodgeball to replicate that it only takes a couple of invasive species to start making a lasting impact on an ecosystem

From Here – From Away
By Kim Fulton
Teaching students how to tell the difference between native plants and animals and invasives that have made themselves at home

Zebra Mussel Baseball
By Nicole Stewart
Invasive species hitch a ride wherever one might go in this discussion starter for 8-12 year olds

Starling Mania
By Nicole Stewart
A fast paced game that teaches students how quickly invasive species can take over an area

Advance Praise for Teaching about Invasive Species

Education and awareness are key to preventing the spread of invasive species across the landscape.  Green Teacher Magazine has compiled an excellent resource for teachers and other youth educators to guide young people through this important subject and encourage practices that will help maintain balance within ecosystems. 

Luba Mycio Mommers, Executive Director, Canadian Wildlife Federation Learning Institute

Teaching about Invasive Species is a must have guide for anyone wishing to introduce learners of all ages to the causes, effects and science behind invasive species. It offers a wide array of perspectives, approaches and activities that allow educators to teach about native and introduced species with a deeper understanding of their ecological interactions and the impact of these interactions on biodiversity that goes beyond the simplified view that all exotic species have a negative effect on native populations. Even if you are familiar with the topic, this book will widen your perspective and offer you new tools to better teach about invasive species.

Jose “Pepe” Marcos-Iga, President, North American Association for Environmental Education.

Studying invasive species creates conflicting ethical and ecological dilemmas.  This book excels at defining invasive species and helping teachers navigate and understand the complexities while teaching their students this important topic.

Jeanine Huss, Associate Professor, Western Kentucky University

What a welcome resource for educators everywhere to foster ecological and systems thinking through the conservation of native biodiversity! Teaching about Invasive Species tackles the very real problem of invasive species through a diversity of voices and approaches. Holistic activities range from the macro to the micro, address aquatic and terrestrial species, and are adaptable to a variety of ages, stages, and places. Indeed, outcomes inspired by this volume will further embody ecoSTEAM* approaches to integrating curricula with community concerns.

Polly L. Knowlton Cockett, Community Stewardship for Biodiversity Leader, Calgary, Alberta  (*ecoSTEAM = ecological contexts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics education)

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Lee MacLeod #

    Well organized website and very helpful.

    September 6, 2016

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