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Pre-visit preparation:

Learning Activity 1: Alien, invasive, indigenous and endemic species

  • At school, before you go on your field trip, search through Module 1: Nature on your doorstep and Module 4: Threatened nature in the City to find the following terms: alien, endemic, indigenous, invasive, species.

  • Write definitions of these five terms in your own words.

Assessment tasks and tools

  • Definitions of five terms in

own words

Learning Activity 2: What do we know – and want to know?

  • On the board, write the terms: indigenous plants and invasive alien plants. Write a brief definition below each term.

  • Divide into groups of five. Each group takes three strips of white paper and three strips of coloured paper. On the pieces of white paper write three things you know about indigenous plants (one idea per page). On the coloured paper write three things you know about alien plants.

  • Place all the groups’ ideas around the relevant term and cluster the ideas into logical groups (e.g. where they come from, how people use them, their role in the environment, examples, etc).

  • Turn your clusters of ideas into two class mind maps reflecting what you know about invasive alien and indigenous plants. Record the mind maps in your note book.

  • Think about what you already know about indigenous and invasive alien plants. In your small groups come up with one question you would like to ask about indigenous and/or invasive alien plants. Write your question on the board.

  • Decide which questions you could research by reading and which you would need to investigate. Use these questions to help you design your investigation. Decide what methods and tools you will use in your investigation.

  • For information on invasive aliens, see www.gisp.org; www.issg.org.

Assessment tasks and tools

  • Two mind maps summarising what learners know about alien and indigenous plants.

  • List of questions to stimulate research and investigations.

As an example, the rest of this learning activity is based on the question:

What impact do invasive alien plants have on indigenous plants and animals (biodiversity)?

Field Trip:

Learning Activity 3: Comparing communities

  • Select a fieldwork site where you can easily compare an area of indigenous vegetation with an area invaded by alien plants.

  • Divide into an equal number of small groups (3-5 per group). Half the groups will survey plant and animal populations in invasive alien vegetation; the other half

will survey an area of indigenous vegetation. Each group gets a piece of string four metres long, joined end to end with a knot. This is your group s quadrat frame (a tool for observing, recording and comparing

what lives in a given area).

Taking care not to trample on plants or animals, lay out your group s quadrat frame

as a 1 m2 quadrat in an area of indigenous or invasive alien vegetation. Observe and count the number of different plant species in your quadrat. Record this on your group’s Fieldwork Record Sheet (below). If you have a permit to collect plant material, carefully collect a small sample of leaves or flowers from

Assessment tasks and tools

  • Completed record sheet for each observer group.

  • Individual worksheet with results from all groups filled in.


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