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Author

TED-Ed

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Video, 4 minutes, 46 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessment
  • Article

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - South, Oceania

The Threat of Invasive Species

Synopsis
  • This video discusses the impact invasive species can have on ecosystems using the examples of Kudzu vines in the southern United States, Burmese pythons in Florida, and European rabbits in Australia. 
  • Students will learn about coevolution and limiting factors as important components of healthy and balanced ecosystems. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The video uses engaging animations to hook students.
  • There are comprehension questions, links to additional resources, and discussion boards to accompany the video.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students can create a free account to save their answers to the questions and participate in the discussion boards.
  • Teachers can create a free account to view student work and customize the lesson.

Differentiation

  • The video ends with a provocative question that asks if humans are an invasive species. This could be used to spur a class discussion on the degradation of the environment and biodiversity caused by humans.
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with civics classes by focusing on how governments control the transport of plants and animals and the effectiveness of these laws and policies.
  • In science classes, students could research an invasive species in their region and create an action plan to mitigate the damage.
  • Climate change can lead to the spread of invasive species. Students can explore this idea more using this video about Atlantic fish spreading into the Arctic waters.
  • Other helpful resources include this game where students work to minimize invasive species populations and this video that highlights the many ways humans negatively impact ecosystems.
Scientist Notes
This video introduces students to learn the impact of invasive species on native species and populations. It also provides typical examples from different ecological zones. This is insightful and recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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