Aquatic Invasive Species Education Project

History of Invasive Species

The issue of invasive species is not a recent problem. Invasive species have actually been around for centuries, except that people did not think of them in terms of invasive species. Many of these introduced species have had a profound effect on history, whether on human history or environmental history. The activities in this module encourage students to think about invasive species in historical terms through lessons focused on Smallpox, Chestnut Blight, and American Bullfrogs.

Sign reads: Smallpox - Keep Out of the House

The goal of this project is to raise awareness about invasive species and to turn that awareness into action to prevent and to manage current and future invasions. The project consists of lesson plans and corresponding hands-on items designed to teach the story about invasive species. Each lesson plan has been aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, and Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards. Lesson plans in each module include activities for Grades 3-12. To download the module, click the link below.


If you would like access to download the project, please email Kerry Wixted: Kerry.wixted@maryland.gov

All About the American Chestnut- Grades 9-12
Students will learn about American Chestnuts and will create and investigate a researchable question relating to American Chestnuts.

Bullfrog Bullies- Grades 2-3
Students will simulate the invasion of Bullfrogs into a fictional ecosystem to see how the introduction impacts native species of frogs.

Chestnut Tree Activity- Grades 3-5
Students will learn about the history of the American Chestnut tree and its demise with the Chestnut Blight.

CSI Marshland- Grades 6-8
Students will investigate different role players in the story of the American Bullfrog and will evaluate the impact of its introduction to the western United States.

Smallpox Timeline- Grades 6-12
Students will learn about the history of Smallpox by conducting a survey and by creating a timeline of historical events.

Education Kits

Aquatic Invasive Species Education kits are also available with printed lesson plans, activity resources, and hands-on items to teach about the 16 species highlighted in the modules.

To borrow a free kit in Maryland, please click here to find a location nearest you.

To find a kit in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., or West Virginia, please click here.