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Activities and Lesson Plans

Alien Invaders!
Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, January 2010

You may print Alien Invaders! children's pages from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. We hope you'll consider a subscription to our magazine. Be sure to check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine special offer for teachers. And please let us know your suggestions for future issues at: education@tpwd.state.tx.us

Suggested Topics: regions of Texas, geography, settlement, history, plants and animals, diversity, adaptation, conservation

Related 4th Grade TEKS:

Language Arts
4.13 B, C, F: Reading, Inquiry, Research : Inquires and Conducts Research Using a Variety of Sources
4.15 B: Writing/purposes. Writes for a Variety of Audiences and Purposes
Social studies:
4.7 B, C: Geography: Regions: human activity, landforms, climate, vegetation from physical characteristics
4.9 C: Geography: Humans Adapt to and Modify their Environment
Science:
4.1 A: Scientific Processes: Conducts Field and Laboratory Investigations
4.2 A, B, C, D, E: Scientific Processes: Develops Abilities to do Scientific Inquiry in Field and Laboratory
4.4 A: Scientific processes: Uses a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry
4.5 A, B: Science Concepts: Parts Removed from Complex Systems
4.8 A, B: Science Concepts: Adaptations Increase Survival
Math:
4.2 A: Number, operation, and quantitative reasoning: Fractions
4.4 D: Number, operation, and quantitative reasoning. Multiplication and Division
4.11 A: Measurement. Length, capacity/volume and weight/mass.

Discussion Questions

Activities

Learn about invasives in your community.
Is it native or a harmful invasive? The Texas Invasives web site has a plant database and map to help you identify plants of concern. Reference the Texas regions pages for teachers to learn about native species.
Nab the Aquatic Invader
Students can try this online activity from the Sea Grant program. Have students click on the detective images at the top and "Meet the Suspects." "Book 'em" is the culminating quiz. The "Background Check" folder may be best for more advance readers. Instead, try directing you students to "Kids' Secret headquarters" which has images and fact sheets on species which will prepare the students for the "Book 'em" quizzes. (http://sgnis.org/kids/gulf.html)
Suggestions from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:
Aquatic Invaders
Also from Sea Grant, this is a musical chairs game that illustrates how an invasive species takes over a habitat. http://sgnis.org/kids/AItoolkit/Gulf_SouthAtlanticText.pdf
Web of Life
This game illustrates what happens when zebra mussels invade a river habitat. Best played outdoors or in a large area, students take on roles of various species and vie for survival. http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/dawsonm/Lessons/game.htm
Make a Difference!
How are people making a difference? Read "How You Can Help" and watch these videos and see what actions people are taking to stop the spread of invasives. Do any of these apply to your community?
TPWD's YouTube Channel
When Plants Attack
"Giant Salvinia channel.
Invasive Apple Snails near Houston
Field Notes - Giant Salvinia Cleanup at Lake Sam Rayburn
In the News
For more advanced readers/learners, compare these news stories on the invasive Giant salvinia in Texas:
Ask students: How are the stories the same? How are they different? How do the articles make you feel? Do you think the articles are news or opinion? Why?
Note: watch for an upcoming TPW Magazine and informational campaign focussing on invasive species.
 

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