Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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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 projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

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

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Invasive Species topic page.
  • 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: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about invasive species while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a public service announcement that explains the impact of invasive species on ecosystems, and share ways to reduce the effects. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key ideas)
  • 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. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast that headlines the arrival of an invasive species into a local ecosystem. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students complete a Worksheet, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Invasive Species Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Food Fight Game: Students apply understanding of ecosystems by creating food webs that increase species’ population.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of ecosystems with these topics: Ecosystems, Food Chains, and Energy Pyramid

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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