Georgian Court University
Invasive Species Integrated Curriculum Unit
Invasive species were recently listed as one of the most important hazards to New Jersey’s natural habitats (www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/njcrp/executive-summary.pdf). In the centuries since European settlement, such organisms have already changed the face of natural environments throughout New Jersey and around the world, and have the potential to change it yet further if rates of new introductions continue at recent levels. Yet while most people have some appreciation of the role of pollutants and overdevelopment on the natural environments around them, many have little or no appreciation of the damaging effects of invasive species.
This site provides free lesson plans and associated activities to support middle school teachers in providing a 2-week learning unit for their students, centered around invasive species. Lesson plans are designed to meet federal and state core content standards for middle school educators and include a series of interconnected, inquiry based activities. These lesson plans span the curriculum with interconnected themes and activities designed to meet the needs of all learners. They are designed to teach students about invasive species, while building basic math, geography, reading and writing skills. We also provide lesson plans for use in social science classes as well as a variety of activities appropriate for use in art and physical education classes. Files containing worksheets, flashcards and other media are also provided for teachers to printout for use with their classes.
Image Source: http://www.plattewma.org/phragmites.jpg
We chose Phragmites as the focus for our integrated curriculum unit for several reasons:
NOTE TO TEACHERS: If you develop additional lesson plans to connect with those provided at this site, please feel free to send them to us and we will add them to the list of resources available to other teachers (with appropriate attribution, of course!).
In addition, although there are evaluations for individual lesson plans at the end of each lesson plan, we ask that, if you use most or all of the lesson plans as a learning unit, as we hope you will, you will be kind enough to provide us with feedback about the effectiveness of the unit as an integrated whole: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB229JAUVFDWT