This year, for the ecology unit in grade 9 Science I decided to focus on invasive species. The Ministry of Natural Resources and other non-government organizations have been putting out plenty of information on invasive plants and animals in the province, and I decided it was time to look at the real thing, rather than paper case-studies. After a period of research on what an invasive species is, and what is invasive locally, we went down into the valley next to the school to see what we could find. We found some Norway maples, but mostly buckthorn and dog strangling vine – everywhere.
While some students dutifully noted the extent of infestation on their maps, it wasn’t until the fourth group I took out that one of the girls piped up with “Why doesn’t somebody DO something about all this?”
With that simple question, the concept of invasive species switched from an academic one to an authentic one. We will now spend the next few weeks doing something about it.
I love it when that happens.