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Invasive Species WebQuest

Grade Level: 6-8

Time Frame: 40-45 minutes

Introduction to Lesson:  This lesson expands upon the ideas covered in the previous day’s lecture.  The students will be using their knowledge about native and invasive Phragmites to complete an invasive species WebQuest.  Students will use given websites (and only given websites) to complete answers about invasive species. 

NJ- New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards


Strand B: Diversity and Biological Evolution

Cumulative Progress Indicator 2: Discuss how changing environmental conditions can result in evolution or extinction of a species

STANDARD 5.10 (Environmental Studies) All students will develop an understanding of the environment as a system of interdependent components affected by human activity and natural phenomena.

A. Natural Systems and Interactions

1.        Explain how organisms interact with other components of an ecosystem.

2.        Describe the natural processes that occur over time in places where direct human impact is minimal

STANDARD 3.1 (Reading) All students will understand and apply the knowledge of sounds, letters, and words in written English to become independent and fluent readers, and will read a variety of materials and texts with fluency and comprehension.

H. Inquiry and Research

1.        Develop and revise questions for investigations prior to, during, and after reading.

2.        Select and use multiple sources to locate information relevant to research questions.

3.        Draw conclusions from information gathered from multiple sources.

5.        Summarize and organize information by taking notes, outlining ideas, and/or making charts.

STANDARD 3.2 (Writing) All students will write in clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different audiences and purposes.

C. Mechanics, Spelling, and Handwriting

·          Use Standard English conventions in all writing, such as sentence structure, grammar and usage, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, handwriting.

·          Use a variety of sentence types and syntax, including independent and dependent clauses and prepositional and adverbial phrases, to connect ideas and craft writing in an interesting and grammatically correct way.

·          Use knowledge of English grammar and usage to express ideas effectively.

·          Use correct capitalization and punctuation, including commas and colons, throughout writing.

·          Use knowledge of roots, prefixes, suffixes, and English spelling patterns to spell words correctly in writing.

·          Edit writing for correct grammar usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

·          Use a variety of materials, such as a dictionary, grammar reference, and/or internet/software resources to edit written work.

·          Write legibly in manuscript or cursive to meet district standards.

STANDARD 8.1 (Computer and information literacy) All students will use computer applications to gather and organize information and to solve problems.

Information Access and Research

6.        Choose appropriate tools and information resources to support research and solve real world problems, including but not limited to:

o        On-line resources and databases


Students will complete a WebQuest on invasive speciesThrough completion of this webquest students will


Be able to explain what meant by the term "invasive species" and provide some examples of species that fit this description


Describe some of the ways in which invasive species enter new habitats


Demonstrate an understanding of why a species coming from outside a given ecosystem might enjoy a competitive advantage within its new home


Describe some of the negative effects of invasive species


Describe some of the methods available to manage invasive species, and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of those methods


Discuss some actions people can take to avoid introducing more invasive species into our local habitats

Materials and Resources:


1      Access to computers or hard copies of the materials from the websites on the list provided.


        WebQuest handout


2.      WebQuest website list


        Teacher's answer key

Anticipatory Set:

 Teacher will review definition of species, native species and invasive species.

Sequence Instruction:

1.     Teacher will hand out WebQuest questions and website list (35 minutes)


Students will only answer questions on the WebQuest handout.


Students will only use websites given to them.

Accommodations and Modification:

Students with disabilities will be directed to specific website where they will find the answer (only give them websites where they will find the answers.  Eliminate extra websites.)

Anchor Activity (if lesson goes shorter than planned)

Have students write a reflection on how this activity helped them with applying the knowledge from the previous classes

Assessment: Teacher will assess students upon their successful completion of the WebQuest handout.


Teacher will ask for everyone to share an answer to one of the questions from their WebQuest. (5 to 10 minutes)


Talk to your family or friends about the plants that are in your yard or neighborhood and the plans people have planting new ones in the future.  Explain what you’ve learned about how important it is to plant native plants in one’s yard / park / neighborhood and why.  


TEACHER FEEDBACK REQUEST:  We are always to working to improve these lesson plans. If you use this lesson plan, we'd love to hear from you with your thoughts, comments and suggestions for future improvements.  Please take the time to fill in our survey at .  Thanks!


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© 2009.  Jodi Sisk (Author), Louise Wootton and Claire Gallagher (Editors)

 Although the information in this document has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement NE97262206  to Georgian Court   University, it has not gone through the Agency's publications review process and, therefore, may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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