Jennifer England’s 4th grade class (at Franklin Elementary, Corvallis School District) presented board games, comic books, poems, skits, puzzles, and other interactive activities that they developed about invasives species at the well-attended Earth Day Celebration at Oregon Gardens, April 18th, 2009. “These students did an excellent job presenting the material”, noted one parent chaperone. “You could tell they were excited to share their knowledge, and people seems to really take interest”.
Science Learning – Students learned about the biology and ecology of several invasive species, including crayfish, bullfrogs, and nutria. Students were already studying crayfish as part of the popular FOSS (Full Option Science System, developed by Laurence Hall of Science), and invasives species learning was integrated into this FOSS curriculum as students learned about their crayfish’s native range, their ecology, and potential impact on the local environment if released.
Outcome – Model curriculum for integrating invasive species ecology and a “do not release” message along with studying a live classroom organism. Many outstanding outreach and educational materials produce by students, growing public awareness from presentation at Oregon Gardens.
Further Application– Curriculum can be adapted for other classrooms that utilize crayfish, and the outreach materials may be used in future educational displays or borrowed for other classrooms.