BRING THE ADIRONDACKS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM


ADIRONDACK CHALLENGES

Beware the Invasion!
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Grade: 11th - 12th grade
Class: Environmental Science
Author: Annemarie LaRuffa
NYS Content Area Standard:
Math, Science & Technology:
Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry and Design
Standard 4: Science
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural HistoryHuman History
Performance Indicators:

Standard 1: Major Understandings Key Idea 1.2a Key Idea 3.1a

Standard 4: Major Understandings 1.1c 6.1g 6.2b 6.3a

Keywords: invasive species
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: Which non-native "invasive" plant species are most threatening to our Northern Forest?
Context:

Preservation of natural habitats and the native species that live there is important to the survival of any ecosystem. Sometimes species are moved from their original habitats to new locations. This  occurs both accidentally and by the intentional action of humans. While some people support human manipulation of the habitats of various species, many others want action taken to control or eradicate these non-native "invasive" species before permanent damage is done and the biodiversity of indigenous species is lost forever. With public resources very limited, which non-native "invasive" plant species are most threatening to the  Adirondacks and should be of greatest concern to us?

Prior to issuing this challenge, the teacher may want to help students conduct an initial investigation of the range of non-native plant species identified as "invasive" to the Adirondack region. This will give students several species to choose from when doing their investigation. Additionally, the teacher may want to show the class samples of high quality tri-fold brochures to help them determine what the "Criteria for Quality" will when it comes to assessing the format of their own.

The Challenge:

In your team of two or three, choose the four "invasive" plant species you think are most threatening to the well being of the indigenous ecosystems of the Adirondack region. Create a tri-fold brochure that public agencies in the region could use to inform the public and raise awareness of your concerns.

As you design your brochure, please be sure it meets the following criteria:

1) Your brochure should be engaging and persuasive. Design the brochure so that the public will want to read it and will be convinced that your concerns are legitimate.

2)Your brochure should be highly informative. Make sure all the data it contains is accurate and based on the best scientific research available. Be prepared to cite credible sources for all major claims.

3) The content of your brochure should address all of the following Focus Questions:

a. What does each of the invasive plant species look like? (Provide illustrations)

b. How does the invasive species reproduce or spread throughout the environment?

c. What impact does the invasive plant species have on the indigenous ecosystem? What is so threatening that makes its spread worthy of our concern and/or action?

d. What can the public do to deal with this "invasion"?

Your teams will have access both to the internet for research and to computer applications & templates that will help you design your tri-fold brochure appropriately. We will discuss the terms for this access in class. We will also discuss the availability of whatever art materials (colored pencils, markers, paper, etc) or printing supplies you think you might need to complete this project

All members of the team should be prepared to answer any questions your teacher or any classmate may have about the contents of your brochure.

Product of the 2008 ACP Biodiversity Workshop, funded by a grant from the New York Biodiversity Research Institute

Quality Standards:
  • The brochure is engaging and persuasive.
  • The brochure is highly informative. All the data  is accurate and based on the best scientific research available. Authors can cite credible sources for all major claims.
  • The brochure includes illustrations showing what the invasive species looks like
  • The brochure describes how the invasive species reproduces and spreads through the environment
  • The brochure describes the impact the invasive plant species has on the indigenous ecosystem
  • The brochures describes why the invasive species is so threatening and worthy of concern
  • The brochure describes what the public and do about the invasion
  • All authors of the brochure can answer questions about its content
Product Quality Checklist
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Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

The brochure is engaging and persuasive.

The brochure is highly informative. All the data  is accurate and based on the best scientific research available. Authors can cite credible sources for all major claims.

The brochure includes illustrations showing what the invasive species looks like

The brochure describes how the invasive species reproduces and spreads through the environment

The brochure describes the impact the invasive plant species has on the indigenous ecosystem

The brochures describes why the invasive species is so threatening and worthy of concern

The brochure describes what the public and do about the invasion

All authors of the brochure can answer questions about its content

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