Learn with Hanford Mills

Understanding Invasive Species




Learn about invasive species and their effect on environments.
Method: Students will read about the Chestnut Blight and its effect on the tree population, and will conduct research to find out more about another invasive species.


Students will engage in a discussion about where the ingredients in a historic recipe originate, where their groceries come from today, and how food gets from the fields to their homes.


  • Copy of The American Chestnut Story article for each student
  • Computer access or library for student research
  • Notepaper
  • Writing Implements


  • Preparation Time: : 10 minutes
  • Class Time: approximately 60 minutes


  • Discuss invasive species.
  • Ask students to read the article about the American Chestnut tree, either silently or as a class.
  • Explain to students that they will be conducting a research assignment.
  • First, ask students to briefly browse Invasive Species website to find an invasive species to research (if time constraints are a concern, you may choose to assign the species to the students).
  • Ask students to research their assigned species for a few minutes and to take notes on their findings.
  • Ask students to report their findings to the class aloud or have them write a short description to be handed in at the end of class.


  • Class discussion on the reading (listening and speaking))
  • Written notes
  • Presentation to the class OR written description of invasive species

NYS Learning Standards:

  • ELA Standard 1
  • Math, Science and Tech. Standard 2
  • Math, Science and Tech. Standard 4

Vocabulary & Spelling Words:

Blight – n. a disease that causes the rapid and extensive discoloration, wilting, and death of plant tissues.

Invasive Species – n. any species that is not native to that area; and whose introduction causes economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Native – adj. growing naturally in a particular country or region, as animals or plants.