Students explore ways that they can make a difference to prevent the spread of invasive species in fun charades-like skits and then develop an action project to be Healthy Habitat Protectors.
This activity is part of the Lesson “A Beginner’s Guide to Invasive Species”, where students engage in discussion, analysis, investigations, and 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:
- Why We Care About Invasive Species
- Habitat Hit- What Happened Here?
- Turtle Trouble
- Play Your Part! Healthy Habitat Challenge
- How can people stop the spread of invasive species?
- What are some actions I can do to help protect special places in my community?
BC Curriculum Links
- Personal and Social Awareness and Responsibility
- Critical Thinking
Science Big Ideas
- All living things sense and respond to their environment (Grade 4)
- Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment (Grade 5)
- Multicellular organisms rely on internal systems to survive, reproduce, and interact with their environment (Grade 6)
- Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things (Grade 7)
- Computers or iPads and internet access
Invasive species are the greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Although invasive species are a significant environmental issue, every individual can play an important role in addressing the issue and make a difference in our communities and natural areas.
For background information on invasive species and their impacts, read the Background on Invasive Species for Educators and learn about ways to Take Action and Play Your Part:
Read the Background on Invasive Species for Educators to become familiar invasive species and the Take Action campaigns as examples of how we can all play our part to prevent the spread of invasive species.
Part 1: Play Your Part Mysteries
- Split the class up into five teams. Assign each team a secret slogan: Don’t Let it Loose; Play Clean Go; Clean Drain Dry; Be Plant Wise; and Buy Local Burn Local. Don’t tell the students what their slogan means! Tell students that their slogan describes a way that each of us can take action to keep habitats healthy.
- Each team of students discusses what they think their slogan means and how it could be a strategy to prevent the spread of invasive species.
- Then solve the mystery! Have students explore the relevant areas of the ISCBC website that connects to their slogan, Play Your Part: https://bcinvasives.ca/play-your-part/ , including background information, short videos, and examples of invasive species and their impacts.
- Once each group has learned more about their slogan and how it is a way to prevent the spread of invasive species, they develop a short charades-style skit or an informative video to present to the rest of the class. Each group collectively acts out a scenario to demonstrate a way that invasive species can spread, and a strategy connected to their slogan that helps to protect habitats and communities from invasive species. Be creative and have fun with it!
- Discussion questions: Have you heard of these actions before? What did your group think the slogan meant originally? How do you think we could tell more people about these ways to prevent the spread of invasive species?
Part 2: Healthy Habitat Challenge
Have students brainstorm ways that they can take action to stop the spread of invasive species in your community. Develop an action project to take on as a class. Some ideas include:
- Make posters or videos to teach others about the impacts of invasive species and how we can play our part. Share them with your school and with the community at large. Connect with local businesses, such as garden centres, pet stores, farmers markets, or livestock feed stores to share common interests and concerns around invasive species.
- Learn how to identify and report invasive species found in your schoolyard or nearby areas and teach others in the school about it. Make a field guide of some local native and invasive species.
- Connect with local organizations to participate in a habitat restoration project or weed pull.
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!
- Leap into Action! Simple Steps to Environmental Action by Sue Staniforth. A Project of the BC Conservation Foundation and WildBC. https://resourceroom.hctfeducation.ca/collections/books-and-guides-1/products/leap-into-action