Suggested Project WILD Activities: Alien Invaders!

Activities are available through our free Project WILD workshops.

Project WILD

Aquatic Roots (Aquatic) - Students use reference materials to research various local aquatic plants and/or animals to find out whether they are natives or exotics; and to investigate their impacts on people, other animals and the environment. Upon completion students trace the origins of various species of local aquatic animals and/or aquatic plants; categorize them into native and exotic species; and evaluate the appropriateness of introducing new species. Requires world map; yarn; paper; reference materials; and a list of native and non-native plants and animals.

Blue Ribbon Niche (Aquatic) - Students create a variety of representations of wildlife that can be found in riparian areas. Upon completion students identify different riparian organisms; describe the ecological role of some riparian organisms; describe basic characteristics of riparian zones; and evaluate potential positive and negative effects from changes in riparian zones.

Edge of Home (Aquatic) - Students explore the concept of ecotones by visiting places where habitats overlap. Upon completion students identify the characteristics of ecotones, or transitional zones, between two wildlife habitats. Requires pencils; paper; long rope or string for marking intervals in one-foot segments; and clipboards.

Good Buddies - Students research pairs of animals, play a card game, and classify the pairs of animals according to the three major forms of symbiotic relationships. Upon completion students define symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism and parasitism; identify animals that live in each type of relationship; and explain that symbiotic relationships are examples of the intricate web of interdependence in which all plants and animals live. Requires copies of cards provided in activity; research materials.

How Many Bears Can Live in This Forest? - Students become "bears" to look for one or more components of habitat during this physical activity. Upon completion students define major component of habitats; and identify limiting factors. Requires five colors of construction paper (2 or 3 sheets) or an equal amount of light poster board; one black felt pen; envelopes (one/student); pencils; one blindfold. Optional five sheets green of construction paper.

Improving Wildlife Habitat in the Community - Students design and accomplish a project to improve wildlife habitat in their community. Upon completion students apply their knowledge of wildlife by describing essential components of habitat in an arrangement appropriate for the wildlife they identify; and evaluate compatible and incompatible uses of an area by people and specified kinds of wildlife. Requires writing and drawing materials; poster or butcher paper; or model making materials like plaster of Paris, clay small replicas of animals, etc.

Migration Headache (Aquatic) - Students portray migrating water birds traveling between nesting habitats and wintering grounds. Students list limiting factors affecting habitats and populations of migrating water birds; predict the effects of such limiting factors; describe the effects of habitat loss and degradation; and make inferences about the importance of suitable habitat.

Move Over Rover - Students play a game in which the object is to identify characteristic animals found in several ecosystems and match these animals to the environments in which they live. Upon completion students list factors that influence animal distribution in ecosystems; and generalize that each ecosystem has characteristic animals adapted to live there. Requires Animal Cards (included); poster making materials for 8 posters; and Educator Answer Key.

Planting Animals - Students write a letter to a state or provincial wildlife agency for information and make dioramas of transplanted animals in new habitats. Upon completion students describe reasons for "transplanting " animals; and identify one animal that has been transplanted in their own state or province. Requires writing materials; magazine photos; scissors; glue. Boxes for dioramas are optional.

Polar Bears in Phoenix? - Students design and draw a zoo enclosure appropriate for the survival of a polar bear in a hot, arid climate. Upon completion students identify problems for an animal moved from its natural environment to captivity. Requires drawing paper and crayons.

World Travelers - Students conduct field research, develop graphs or pie charts and maps depicting the proportions of exotic species and create reports on the effects of these species on native populations. Upon completion students identify native and exotic species through local investigation; interpret graphs and maps of the concentrations of native and non-native species; and identify the effects of introduced species on ecosystems. Requires writing material; field guides; tape measures; string to mark plots; reference materials; copies of Dominant Species Chart for each group.

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