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Ecosystems, Movement & Play, Physical Geography


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Geography


60 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

It's an Alien Invasion!

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Dec 5, 2023
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In this lesson, students learn how cultural practices can spread not only ideas and traditions, but also invasive species into new areas. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch a video outlining invasive species and write a summary outlining their new knowledge.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students play a digital game and a hands-on game to understand how invasive species can outcompete native species in their environments.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students use guided questions to conduct research about an invasive species in their community and create a presentation to spread awareness.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson features kinesthetic learning as students play Three Steps Forward, One Step Back.
  • Students will develop a strong connection to self and community through learning about invasive species in their community.
  • This lesson features excellent vocabulary development.
  • Students learn through multiple games.

Additional Prerequisites

  • One-to-one technology or cardstock with art supplies are required for poster creation.
  • Students need access to research materials such as the Internet and/or books about invasive species.


  • Groups of students with mixed abilities can collaborate on their educational posters.
  • Possible Extension: Do a campus tour and have students take notes on species that could be invasive.

Scientist Notes

This lesson gives students the go-ahead to explore the underlying cultural practices that could spread invasive species and ways to reduce the spread to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem. All materials embedded in the lesson are factual and accurate. That being so, this lesson has passed our science credibility review process and is recommended for teaching.


Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to New Jersey standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on the New Jersey Climate Education Hub.
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