Introduced Species Lesson Plan

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

This lesson plan covers how and why new species are introduced into ecosystems. Through small-group and whole-class discussions, a short video and a hands-on activity, students will discover the positive and negative effects of introduced species.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the term 'introduced species.'
  • Provide examples of positive and negative effects of introduced species.
  • Describe how an introduced species could affect an ecosystem.


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Images of a common introduced species in your area
  • Plastic cups--4 per group
  • Set of chopsticks--1 per group
  • Rubber band--1 per group
  • Plastic fork--1 per group
  • Plastic spoon--1 per group
  • Large binder clip--4 per group
  • Red pom-poms--8 per group
  • Yellow pom-poms--8 per group
  • Blue pom-poms--10 per group
  • 1 timer


  • Show students images of an introduced species in your area. Ask if they know what it is and where it came from originally. Provide a description of the organism, such as its effects on your area, how it got to your area, and where it originated. Explain to students that in this lesson they will be learning more about introduced species and their effects.
  • Show the video What Is an Introduced Species? - Definition, Effects & Examples. Pause at 1:40. Check for understanding with the following discussion questions:
    • What is an 'introduced species?'
    • What is an example of an organism that was introduced accidentally?
    • Why would an organism be deliberately introduced?
  • Continue with the video, this time pausing at 2:51. Ask students the following discussion question:
    • What are some positive effects of introduced species?
  • Watch the video to the end. Check for understanding with the following question:
    • What are some negative effects of introduced species?
  • Show the lesson quiz and complete it as a class.

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