We have explored the topic of plant blindness often in this column and have learned about the many reasons why we need to take this topic seriously. One of these reasons has to do with the management of invasive plant species. Today we learn about an activity introducing students to invasive species and the biology behind how they “invade”.
In A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Invasive Plant Universe, professor Richard H. Audet presents an activity about “alien invaders” that is based on the 5E learning cycle. This classroom activity requires students to think about seed dispersal and calls upon them to write about (and draw) the relationship between seed form and function.
Audet (2005) includes a list of online resources for teachers in his article. Some of the links he provides have changed over the years, so I looked for the current links. Update the resources in Audet (2005) with these links:
- America’s Least Wanted
- Search results for “invasive species” at The Nature Conservancy
- Deadly Plant Invaders Game
- Invasive Species – Bureau of Land Management
- Aquatic Invaders – Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
When it comes to drawing the form and function of seeds, Audet (2005) does not offer any guidance. This is okay because together we’ve learned about many drawing, painting and observation techniques from the wonderful guests who have stopped by this site to visit. To browse conversations with past guests, go to the “Featured Guests” section in the righthand column. If you are pressed for time and are looking for resources to use in your classroom or program right away, here are two resources you might want to consider:
Audet’s article and activity about invasive species was published in Science Scope, a journal for middle school science teachers. Audet (2005) can be purchased online at the NSTA Store for 99¢.
Audet, Richard, H. 2005. A hitchhiker’s guide to the invasive plant universe. Science Scope. 29(1): 42-45