Invasive Investigation


Instructional Level: High School - Biology

Driving Question(s):

  • How are interactions among different organisms important to the environment?
  • How do changes in environmental conditions affect organisms?


CCSC: RST.11-12.7
MD E-Lit: 1A 1B 4B 4C 5A 5B 7B 8A 8E


In the summative assessment students will be asked to review and edit their American chestnut graphic organizer and gather information about another invasive species that has had negative economic and ecological impacts to develop storyboard or comic strip for presentation to their peers.


  1. Review and edit the American chestnut graphic organizer and fill in gaps discovered during the lesson activities.
  2. Develop a storyboard or comic strip about another invasive species that has had negative economic and ecological impacts.
  3. Present storyboard/comic strip to peers.

Lesson Materials

American chestnut graphic organizer

Comic strip template

A rubric of items that need to be included in the group presentation and comic strip


  1. Use the American chestnut graphic organizer and fill-in gaps that exist in student groups and discuss with the class.
  2. Student groups (3-4) will use resources and references to develop and present a Story Board or Comic Strip related to an invasive species. Examples include: sea lamprey, zebra mussel, snakehead fish, cane toad, brown marmorated stink bug, emerald ash-borer beetle, wooly adelgid beetle, kudzu, and Japanese knotweed.  Comic strips will be displayed and evaluated by student groups.
  3. Show an example of comic strip design idea like that of Mark Trail by James Allen.


Accessing information on invasive species impact on an ecosystem


Mark Trail,

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health,

NGSS Common Core Connections:


Standards: Life Science, Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Performance Expectations: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. [Clarification Statement: Examples include...invasive species]

Name and NGSS code/citation
Specific Connections to Classroom Activity
Science & Engineering Practices

Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Accessing information on invasive species impact on an ecosystem

Crosscutting Concepts

Stability and Change

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience

LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Accessing information on invasive species impact on an ecosystem

Common Core State Standards (CCSS):


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Environmental Literacy Goals (E-Lit):


Environmental Issue Investigation


Population Dynamics

Analyze the growth or decline of populations and identify a variety of responsible factors.


Population, Communities and Ecosystems

Population Dynamics: Analyze the growth or decline of populations and identify a variety of factors.


Population, Communities and Ecosystems

Community and Ecosystem Dynamics: Explain how the interrelationships and interdependencies of organisms and population contribute to the dynamics of communities and ecosystems.


Human Impact on Natural Processes

Analyze the effects of human activities that deliberately or inadvertently alter the equilibrium of natural processes.


Human Impact on Natural Resources

Analyze, from local to global levels, the relationship between human activities and the earth’s resources.


Individual and Group Actions and the Environment

Examine the influence of individual and group actions on the environment and explain how groups and individuals can work to promote and balance interests.


Intergenerational Responsibility

Understand and apply the basic concept of sustainability to natural and human communities.


Limits of Ecological Systems

Investigate and make decisions that demonstrate understanding of how the dynamics of ecological systems affect the sustainability of social, cultural systems and economic systems.

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