Fall 2009 Alien Invasion
Using Conservationist for Kids in the ClassroomConservationist for Kids (C4K), and its accompanying teacher supplement, is distributed to public school fourth-grade classes three times each school year (fall, winter, spring). These materials are also available at the Conservationist for Kids website in both HTML and PDF formats. Teachers and students may e-mail questions and suggestions to us at our Conservationist for Kids email box. Printable activity sheets and links to other resources can also be found on our website.
New for Fall 2009
Join the Conservationist for Kids listserve and keep in touch by subscribing to GovDelivery. Members of our e-mail list receive messages from the editor about the magazine, plus supplemental materials for educators using the magazine in classrooms and non-traditional settings. In addition, list members receive notification about resources and training opportunities for connecting youth to the outdoors and to environmental issues.
Investigating Invasive Species
Invasive species are non-native plants and animals that adversely affect the natural ecosystems in the places they invade, and often affect human populations as well. Invasives are great competitors and have few, if any, natural predators in their new-found homes. They take over with ease, making the struggle to survive that much more difficult for native species. These characteristics make it easy for invasive species to quickly become the dominant species while crowding out native species. Loss of biological diversity due to invasive species is a serious threat to natural ecosystems. This issue of Conservationist for Kids (C4K) opens the discussion about invasive species in New York State and suggests ways for students to learn more and become active in efforts to combat them, including by educating others.
Many species of animals and plants in New York State originated elsewhere. Some are harmless, some are beneficial, and some are real troublemakers. Some of the invasive species in our state are widely distributed, while others are concentrated in distinct areas. No place is immune from invasive species, from wilderness to the hearts of our largest cities. As we import and export goods, and as we travel, people are major players in the spread of invasives. Whether intentional or accidental, we import living plants and animals, potential invasives. When we export, our native plants and animals may become invasives in other lands. We can begin to address concerns about invasive species by learning more about them, including how they spread, where they're found, and how to keep them from spreading further.
MST Curriculum Connections
The activities in this issue of C4K correlate to the New York State Learning Standards for Math, Science and Technology for fourth grade, as shown below. Connections to other learning standards are also valid.
Become an Invasive Species Detective:
MST4. The Living Environment 1, 3, 5
Not Wanted Poster:
MST4. The Living Environment 7
MST6. Equilibrium & Stability