Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Invasive Species, and addresses the standard of evaluating how biological or physical components impact populations within an ecosystem.Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


  • Display the word “invade.” 
  • Ask students what comes to mind when they hear this word. Prompt them to use examples to illustrate their thinking. 


  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the two Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a public service announcement that explains the impact of invasive species on ecosystems, and share ways to reduce the effects. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a cause and effect concept map that analyzes the impact of an invasive species on an ecosystem. Identify the specie’s effects on existing interspecies relationships, as well as the ecosystem’s populations and biodiversity.
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast that headlines the arrival of an invasive species into a local ecosystem. 


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about Invasive Species.  Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How does an invasive species affect biodiversity within an ecosystem? 
  • How can we help to control populations of invasive species?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Invasive Species Quiz. 

Step 5:  Extend Learning

Continue exploring ecosystems with BrainPOP’s Ecosystem topic and Lesson Plan.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments