Students listen to a 50-minute presentation on how invasive species can affect the population growth of a native species through disease (or disease transmission), competition, and predation.
Students then complete a 50-minute online module titled "Invasive Species and Population Growth."
Students will understand that population growth of native species can be positive or negative, is affected by many different biotic and abiotic factors, and is often affected negatively by invasive species. In the module, students gain understanding of how invasive species affect population growth.
National Science Education Life Science Standards
Grades 5-8: The number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition. Given adequate biotic and abiotic resources and no disease or predators, populations (including humans) increase at rapid rates. Lack of resources and other factors, such as predation and climate, limit the growth of populations in specific niches in the ecosystem.
Sunshine state standards
SC.7.L.17.3: Describe and investigate various limiting factors in the local ecosystem and their impact on native populations, including food, shelter, water, space, disease, parasitism, predation, and nesting sites.
Technology standards can be applied to this activity.
- The scripted presentation can be downloaded from www.protectingusnow.org. Be sure to go over the text ahead of time, tweaking it as you need to for your audience. In addition, all 3 activities are included in the presentation, so be sure to remove the ones you do not wish to do.
- Reserve the computer lab, check that your school does not have the site blocked, and that the appropriate Flash plug-in is downloaded on the computers you intend to use. You may need to contact your IT person for help with this if it requires an administrator’s password to download free software from the web.
- Create an account for accessing the module. Students can either use your username and password to complete the module or create their own if they have an email address. See the link below for additional instructions.
The activity can be found on Page 5 of the PDF linked below.
- The students will need access to a computer (with internet) for this activity.
- The link to the module can be found at www.protectingusnow.org, under K-12 Lesson Plans. Choose “Click to take the e-learning module”.