Oregon State University

AIS Toolkit for Teachers

School children share their own invasive species projects

Teachers, students create, learn and share about invasive species

Invasive species are organisms that are introduced from somewhere else and take over the environment. They cause problems for other plants, animals, and people. Invasive species often have physical traits that enable them to reproduce and spread rapidly and outcompete native species for resources. And invasive species often have physical traits that make them difficult to control.

The Aquatic Invasive Species Menace to the West Toolkit

The Aquatic Invasive Species Menace to the West Toolkit is a set of fun, challenging, and inspiring lessons and activities that build on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) principles and are designed to help kids understand what invasive species are, how they affect the environment, and what we can all do about them.  The toolkit contains lesson plans, powerpoint presentations, a species resource guide and a species acitivty guide. The toolkit highlight 10 aquatic invasive species that are relevent for students on the west coast, including California, Washington, and Oregon.

AIS Activity Guides

These guides can be used as a set or individually set to enhance student understanding of specific marine invaders. Assign assessment questions as homework, or use them for classroom discussions or evaluation tools.

Title Resource Sheet Activity Guide
Asian Carp pdf | text pdf | text
Zebra & Quagga Mussels pdf | text pdf | text
New Zealand Mudsnails
pdf | text  
Brazilian Elodea and Hydrilla pdf | text  
Crayfish pdf | text  
Caulerpa pdf | text  

Lesson Plans

  • NEW: Mussel Quarantine Model.  In this lesson students learn the life cycle of the zebra and quagga mussels, their impact on natural systems, and the risk of transport through boaters’ habits. Students will take the role of a boater to use a model for determining how long to quarantine their boats.
  • Stone Soup: Invasive Species Cartooning - Students will develop and apply reading, language arts, and science processes to analyze comics, and demonstrate writing skills in creating their own comic about a local invasive species.
  • Design the Ultimate Invader - Design the ultimate invader is an assessment tool to help us learn the knowledge of our learners towards invasive species and invasion biology.  It also fosters creativity and teamwork to understand the mechanics and mechanisms that make species invasive.

Related Curriculum


Note: The following PowerPoint presentations are large and may be slow to download. The Flash slideshow version is faster for those with slow Internet connections.  Text versions are provided to allow people with visual and other disabilities to access the content, and can also serve as narrative scripts.

  • Dr Deb Rodgers Guide to Invasive Species In Oregon - A slide presentation and script produced by students Megan McGinnis and Shannon Reiter with guidance from their teacher Linda Wolf at Glencoe High, Hilsboro, OR.  The project won the 2009 "Invader Crusader" award from the Oregon Invasive Species Council:

Learn more

  • Invasive Species 101: Our complete collection of classroom projects and presentations developed by teachers and students taking part in the WISE program.

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