Invasive Species on Trial
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Grade: 9th - 12th grade
Class: Living Environment
Author: Caroline Fleming
NYS Content Area Standard:
Math, Science & Technology:
Standard 4: Science
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural History
Performance Indicators:

Science Standard 4:

Key Idea 1: Performance Indicator 1.1

Key Idea 6: Performance Indicator 6.1 and 6.7

Key Idea 7: Performance Indicator: 7.1 and 7.2

Keywords: invasive species, trial
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: How might an invasive species impact the health of an ecosystem and its organisms?
The Challenge:

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of an invasive species by preparing a trial that shows the impacts of invasive species in an ecosystem.  The students will argue for the victim of the invasive species.  This may be the landowner or the affected party (tree, body of water, etc.).

Students will be placed in groups of 3-4.

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

Quality Standards:

Students groups must accurately present information outlining the impacts of an invasive species by conducting a mock trial.

  • Information presented to the jury must be factual and include habitat impacted, life cycle of the invasive, method of reproduction, and a description of the invasive species.
  • Each student with in the group must be prepare note cards containing the information they will present to the jury.
  • Note cards should be checked by the teacher 2 days prior to the presentation.
  • Groups present their evidence in the form of a poster.
  • Evidence must include the habitat impacted, life cycle of the invasive, method of reproduction, impacts (economic, environmental, etc.), and a description of their invasive species.
  • Posters must be creative and data must be accurate.
  • Each group must include a prosecutor, defendant, and defense lawyer.

The remainder of the class will demonstrate their knowledge of the presentation by acting as the jury.

  • The jury will determine the verdict by weighing the information presented and reporting the their findings to the class.
  • The jury will elect a foreman to act as a speaker.
  • Each student will hand in a 1 page paper outlining their contribution to the project.
Product Quality Checklist
Print This Checklist
Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

Information covered during the trial is accurate.


Arguments are logical and well thought out.


Presentation includes life cycle, method of reproduction, impacts, and species description.


Note cards handed in for preview days prior to presentation.


Note cards contain factual information and well thought out


Student submitted one page outline listing their contributions to the group and what they learned from their presentation


Group submitted invasive species poster by the deadline


Poster is colorful and creative.


Poster includes habitat, life cycle, impacts, method of reproduction, and species description.


Student participated as part of the jury.


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