Students take part in simple actions to care for the environment and be a “Healthy Habitat Hero”. This can be an activity to do once or an ongoing activity that students do over a longer period of time to complement their learning on invasive species.
This activity is part of the Lesson “Be a Healthy Habitat Hero!” where students engage in discussion, analysis and play interactive indoor and outdoor games to spark their curiosity, learn about the issue of invasive species and how they impact us all. This lesson includes the following activities:
- The Cute and Fuzzy Invader Takeover
- Who Dunnit?
- Be a Plant Detective
- Healthy Habitat Hero Bingo
- What’s an invasive species and why should I care about them?
- How do invasive species hurt other plants and animals?
- What can I do to help protect special places in my community?
BC Curriculum Links
- Personal and Social Awareness and Responsibility
Science Big Ideas
- Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment (Grade 1)
- Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment (Grade 2)
- Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems (Grade 3)
Science Curricular Competencies (Grades 1-3)
- Demonstrate curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world
- Observe objects and events in familiar contexts
- Ask questions about familiar objects and events
- Make predictions
- Consider some environmental consequences of their actions
- Experience and interpret the local environment
- Express and reflect on personal experiences of place
Notebooks or nature journals, writing utensils
Documents to Download
For a general background on invasive species read Background on Invasive Species for Educators.
Unlike some other environmental problems, invasive species are an issue that everyone can take simple actions to make a difference that help to protect nature and our communities. For more information on how to take action to prevent the spread of invasive species, see https://bcinvasives.ca/play-your-part/
- This activity complements other learning about invasive species. See the Related Activities section for some engaging activities that could be done to introduce the subject, including watching videos of children asking their wonder questions about invasive species, playing games and looking at images to learn about invasive species impacts.
- Download and print Healthy Habitat Hero Bingo cards for each student, or use the blank template to create your own. Nature journals could be made to record observations and actions for the Bingo activity. Students should tape or glue their Bingo sheet into their notebook or nature journal.
- If students aren’t accustomed to being in an outdoor classroom, emphasize boundaries and safety rules, behavioural expectations, and go outdoors frequently for brief periods of time in order to establish a routine.
- After doing some other activities to learn about invasive species and their impacts, ask students ways that they think that they can help to prevent the problems associated with invasive species.
- Give students a Healthy Habitat Bingo Card. They could tape the bingo card into a notebook or nature journal to record their observations and Healthy Habitat actions.
- Go outdoors and do some activities together as a group! Students could also do the actions at home on their own or with their families.
- Have students share their learning with each other and with the school community from their nature journals, the school website, or other means.
Share with us!
We’d love to have your feedback and see photos of your students’ learning and participation in this activity. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org for the opportunity to win resources and have your class have a virtual visit with an invasive species expert!
- Make the Bingo into a competition with prizes. Make “Healthy Habitat Hero” certificates for students who get bingo or who do all actions (get ‘black-out bingo’).
- Have students create their own Bingo cards from the blank templates and do the actions at home with their families. Have them share back with the class something amazing that they learned about or did!
- Focus on one or two of the actions that students are most interested in from the Bingo and deepen the learning. For example, make a field guide to native or invasive species from student sketches; compile a book or make a video of students reading their stories about special places; or arrange for students to participate in a weed pull or beach clean up with a community group.
- Get Outdoors: An Educator’s Guide to Outdoor Classrooms in Parks, Schoolgrounds, and Other Special Places. Sue Staniforth. WildBC, 2009.
Children’s Books and Activity Guides
- Invader Crusaders Activity Guide to Discover BC’s Native and Invasive Species. Invasive Species Council of BC
- Invasive Species on Our Landscapes Activity & Colouring Book, (Ages 6-12), Canada Council on Invasive Species and the Invasive Species Council of BC.
- Invasive Species in Our Waters Activity & Colouring Book, (Ages 6-12), Canada Council on Invasive Species and the Invasive Species Council of BC.
- Von Tol, Alex. Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia. 2015. Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC.
- Wilcox, Merrie-Ellen. Nature Out of Balance: How Invasive Species are Changing the Planet. 2021. Orca Book Publishers, Victoria, BC.