Teacher: Matthew Little

Environmental Science 12

Lesson 2:

Invasive Species Removal

Lesson Time: 60+ minutes, lesson time does not include extensions, adaptations or potential scaffolding requirements.

Lesson Overview

This lesson allows for students to connect with a local volunteer organization or invasive species expert to facilitate the ecological restoration of a local ecosystem. This could involve removing English ivy, Himalayan Blackberry or one of the many other invasive species in BC. As some plants are noxious, it may be important to ensure a qualified professional guides this lesson and activity; nevertheless, some resources are provided in terms of the safe removal of invasive species.

Teaching Summary

1. Attendance
2. Shape of the Lesson

3. Remove Invasive Species

4. Wrap-up
5. Extension

Lesson Objectives

Click to expand, contract, or select tabs.

Students Will:

  • Take an active hand in the rehabilitation of the local ecology
Core Competencies:

________ Highlighting applicable curricular competencies and content
________ Evidence for selection, generated with input from sample “I” statements in curricular draft documents


  1. Connect and engage with others (to share and develop ideas)
  • Students work with a community volunteer or volunteers to manage the local ecology by removing invasives
  1. Acquire, interpret and present information (include inquiries)
  1. Collaborate to plan, carry out and review constructions and activities
  • Students participate in a invasive-species removal activity
  1. Explain, recount and reflect on experience and accomplishments


Creative Thinking

  1. Novelty and value
  2. Generating ideas
  3. Developing ideas

Critical Thinking

  1. Analyze and critique
  2. Question and investigate
  • Students question and investigate the prevalence and effects of invasive species on their local ecosystem.


Positive Personal and Cultural Identity

  1. Relationships and cultural contexts
  2. Personal values and choices
  3. Personal strengths and abilities

Personal Awareness and Responsibilities

  1. Self-determination
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Well-being

Social Responsibilities

  1. Contributing to community and caring for the environment
  • Students begin to develop a sense of how limiting the introduction of invasive species and by actively managing invasive species, students can make an environmental difference.
  • Students work with members of the community to care for the environment through removing invasives.
  1. Solving problems in peaceful ways
  2. Valuing diversity
  3. Building relationships
First Peoples Principles:

Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.

  • This lesson has students taking an active hand in maintaining the health of that ecology of the land.
  • Students can make a connection with their local green space / park.

Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).

  • This lesson develops a sense of place by exploring the local ecology – rather than learning about it in the abstract setting of the classroom.

Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.

  • Students connect with members of the community to pass on ecological management knowledge

Big Idea Focus:

Global Environmental Changes

  • Students take an active role in the management of the ‘number 2’ driver of global ecological change (next to global warming): invasive species

Curricular Competency Focus:

Processing and analyzing data and information: Experience and interpret the local environment

  • Students explore their local environment, taking an active role in its management

Applying and innovating: Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches

  • Students contribute to the the well-being of the local ecology by collaborating with a volunteer or volunteers to remove invasive species

Curricular Content Focus:

Land Use and Sustainability: Land management and personal choices

  • Students actively manage the land, promoting sustainable ecosystems through the removal of invasive species



  • Discussion during activity & closing discussion
  • Anecdotal assessment of participation during activity

Adaptation / Modification:

This section contains videos and resources that may inspire you to adapt this activity in a way that works for you, these will mostly be focused on adaptations which account for the inability to connect with a volunteer organization

Small Sampling of Available Videos
Invasive Species Game

“Students will be introduced to the effects an invasive species has on an ecosystem. The limit of food and other nutrients will cause stagnation of native species growth or even decline,
depending on the behavior of the organism.”

Invasive Species Game - Lesson Plan

Invasive Species Removal Series (10+ videos)
Local Municipalities and Invasive Species

Whatever your municipality or region… chances are that local information is posted about the specific species which are a problem in your area.

Teaching Guide:

Materials, Resources and Prep

For the Student:

  • Hand tools: shears/bolt cutters, shovel, trovel
  • Safety equipment: hard hat (in forest ecosystems), long sleeve shirt and pants, heavy duty gloves, boots
  • Access to invasive species PPT from previous class, invasive species field guide, or both.

For the Teacher:

  • Same as students & optional field book if you wish to write down anecdotal assessments
  • Completed student permission forms (sample)
  • The instructor should try to contact a local environmental group for help with this lesson:

The Lower Mainland Green Team!

Vancouver, BC
3,449 Environmental Volunteers

*when you click on “upcoming meetups”, “past meetups” or “our calendar” (on the left of this screen) do make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this page if you are not logg…

Next Meetup

Dig up invasive Blackberry & plant native species James Ande…

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017, 8:30 AM
45 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →


Invasive Species Management

Getting Started: (5 Min)

1. Attendance
2. Shape of the lesson

  • We’re going to meet up with a volunteer organization, who will help us coordinate the removal of invasive plants in a local park or green space
  • We’ll be reviewing safety protocol when we are there
  • We’ll try to find time to talk about the experience before we’re done

Activities: (40+ Min)

3. Remove Invasive Species

  • Volunteer establishes safety expectations
  • Introduces students to their organization (whether volunteer, or a park employee etc.)
  • We work together at removing the invasive plants indicated by our volunteer(s)

Note: The Invasive Species Removal Series (linked above) does a good job of outlining our expectations for such an excursion.

Optional Anecdotal Records, Sample Questions:

  • Are you facing any challenges removing that plant?
  • What might happen if we leave the roots on the ground?
  • What do you think this area will look like in a few years if we remove all these invasives?
  • Why do you think there so many invasives in our parks and green spaces?
“Our native wooded landscapes have never been more at risk to the threats posed by invasive species due to habitat fragmentation caused by poorly located development and inadequate expansion to protect existing woodland areas. The Woodland Trust believes the key is to try and build resilience, for example by ensuring our woodlands are full of a mixture of tree species of different ages and varieties. In the long term the landscape will then be better placed to recover if a pest or disease strikes.”Austin Brady

Wrap-up/Extension: (5+ Min)

8. Wrap-up

  • Students need to make their way back to the school.
  • If time permits, prompt a class discussion on what students thought and felt about removing invasive species, and about the ecology of the area they were rehabilitating. Do students feel more connected to the space?

9. Extension

  • Students may be interested in joining a volunteer group which rehabilitates parks and green spaces through invasive plant removal.
  • The lesson can be extended by completing the rehabilitation of a space over a much longer period of time
  • The lesson is naturally extended as students have come to see the benefit of an indigenous, non-invasive plant garden such as will be planned and then planted on school ground – this, in and of itself is a kind of rehabilitation (from the manicured lawn of a typical school, to the kind of ecology which existed on the land before it was re-purposed)

This document is available under a Creative Commons License.

This lesson plan was inspired by code.org’s programming units. The eagle feather and First Peoples Principles of Learning framework are assets of fnesc.ca.