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Invasive Species - Teacher's Guide

   Episode Overview
SWANIn the opening segment Patrice explores the impact invasive species can have on an environment. She then joins Dave and they look at the impact milfoil has on aquatic communities. We then take a closer look at the mute swan and finally Emily and Sam visit with Professor Jim Morin and his researchers from the Shoals Marine Lab and learn about Codium, an invasive seaweed in the waters off their island.
   Program Objectives
Students will:
1. Understand that species diversity helps maintain healthy ecosystems.

2. Differentiate between native and exotic species.

3. Explain how exotic species can harm native species.

4. Describe ways exotic species can be introduced to an environment.

5. Give examples of some exotic species and their impact on native species.

6. Recognize the distinct characteristics of the mute swan.

7. Analyze how the mute swan effects native species.
Species Cygnet
Native Species Captivity
Exotic Species Codium
Invasive Species Algae
   Previewing Activity
Ask student if they think all the plants and animals in their area are native. Then ask them what animals and plants are not originally from the area. Ask them where the animals and plants originally came from and how they got to their current location.
   Post-Viewing Activities

1. Survey the school yard and identify plants and animals not native to the area. If students are not sure whether a plant or animal is native to the area, have them research it when they return to class. Once they have researched the plants and animals, discuss the impact the plants and animals might have on native species.

2. Have each student select a local invasive or exotic species and research its history in the area and its impact on native species. Once they have researched their plant or animal, have the student report their findings in a written or oral report.

  Hands-On: Plant a Native Garden
   Materials Needed
native plants and seeds
a patch of the school yard
Have the class research native plants. (You can contact your local garden club, Audubon Society, or Forestry Service to find out what plants are native to your area.) Prepare an area of the school grounds to plant native wildflowers and plants.
   Additional Resources

Web Sites
Native Gardening
Learn how to start a native garden at this site from the U.S. Forest Service..

Invasive Species
Learn more about invasive species at this site from the USDA. You'll find species profiles, laws and regulations and geographic information.

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