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Michigan's Invasive Species Community

Invasive Species Interactive Activity

Benjamin VanDyke

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Hello All, 

I recently led a field trip for the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts Fall Summit in Bellaire.  During the field trip, I facilitated a group activity that I learned a few years ago and have adapted to CAKE/Michigan species. The game seemed to go over pretty well with the group, and a few coordinators asked if I would upload it here. I've attached the instruction sheet and necessary materials for the activity to this post. This game is a helpful object lesson in demonstrating the advantages that invasive species have over native species. It works best for large groups. I hope that some of you find it useful! Let me know if you have any questions about it. 


Invasive Species Activity Instructions Sheet.pdf Invasive Species Activity Ecological Events Wheel.pdf CAKE CISMA Invasive Species Game_ Invasive Cards.pdf CAKE CISMA Invasive Species Game_ Native Cards (1).pdf

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I have done the same game with a lot of school groups. I have attached is the version I found. It has more species cards made (if you have more students) and a few more reasons to take steps. Instead of a 50:50 of invasives vs natives this version puts more natives, to show having just a few invasive species in an area will hurt many natives.

It can sometimes be difficult to show the correct results because some students will try to cheat, but going over one step being heel to toe helps.

If you print these cards, be careful, the front and back do not always line up correctly.

cards.pdf invasive-species-spinner.pdf what makes a good invader.pdf

Edited by Fallon Januska
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This seems to be one of the only decent games to engage students that best shows how invasive species can impact an area and outcompete native species. Has anyone used, observed, or created any other activities that have been effective or of particular fondness by students? I did have one teacher approach me and commented that this game may popularize the invasive species as superheroes though personally I feel this is not an issue. 

Thank you Benjamin and Fallon for posting these. It is a great activity. 

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We've played this kudzu tag game with Girl Scouts, and had some success! It's certainly better with elementary school aged students, and needs to be prefaced pretty heavily with how invasive species spread. It's a great way to get kids back up and paying attention if they're getting distracted/bored and you have the space!

Edited by Nor Serocki
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