Tracking the Journey of an Incredibly Invasive Plant
This interactive lesson was inspired by the Project WET Curriculum (Water Education for Teachers) and has been adapted for the purpose of giving students a basic understanding of the life history of one of Florida’s most invasive aquatic plant species, Hydrilla verticillata.
During the activity, students pretend to be a hydrilla plant or “sprig” as they visit eight different aquatic habitat stations (aquarium, creek, drainage ditch, hydrosoil, lake, retention pond, river or spring). While visiting each station, they select a printed scenario card that describes their “existence” in the current habitat, followed by clues on where they will move next in their journey (dumped into a pond from an aquarium, etc.) For each “event” in their journey, students are given a colored bead corresponding to the habitat visited. At the end of the activity, each student’s string of beads provides a visual history of the various environments and life cycles experienced as a hydrilla plant. Students keep their string of beads and use them for discussion with classmates and family.
The Hydrilla Game was designed as an activity to enhance or support Module 2 ~ A Fish Tale presentation, but it can be used as a stand-alone or with other presentations about invasive plants.