On a scale of 1-10, how squeamish are you when it comes to bugs?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that a good majority of them are beneficial in a number of ways, but I’ve personally just never been a huge fan of the creepy crawlies.
While raising a boy, however, I have found myself presented with them in numerous situations, more that I care to count really, and have actually found that many of them no longer bother me quite the way they used to.
There are still some, though, which will easily make my skin crawl, just as there are some that are not nearly as beneficial to our environment as others. We’ll call these the Hungry Pests.
These invasive pests only do harm as they destroy trees and plants, threaten the crops that make up our food supply, and disrupt our environment.
Now, you may be wondering, what any of this has to do with the education of your children since that is primarily what we share on this site, and I can tell you, a lot actually.
Whether you are a parent, homeschooler, or a classroom teacher, if you’ve got middle schoolers, then we’ve got a treat to share with you today!
In response to these Hungry Pests, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has identified 19 of the most invasive pests that threaten our country’s crops, trees, and plants and all of the info you could want on them and put it all together into a standards-based curriculum for grades 6-8.
The curriculum, “Hungry Pests Invade Middle School” is designed to engage your students and raise their awareness of these invasive species through informative, discovery-based activities.
When you pair it with the Hungry Pests website, you’ll be able to see just what pests are in each state and learn how they spread from one area to another. Quick hint: it’s often due to the everyday actions of people just like you and me, who don’t even realize it.
In fact, by just taking a quick look at the U.S. Pest Tracker on their website, I was able to figure out that out of the 19 identified invasive pests, 2 of them are currently under a federal quarantine in my state while 8 of the 19 could actually find a suitable habitat here! How crazy is that?!
Each lesson of the included lessons allows your kids to make at-home connections, learn through extension activities, and has links to cross-curricular subjects as well, all of which, you and your students can use to help stop the spread of these Hungry Pests.
The best part of the whole thing? The entire curriculum is completely free and if you are using it in a classroom setting, they also include some state-specific, education standards charts as well!
So what exactly can you and your bug-loving kids do to help stop these invasive pests?
The first step is to head on over to the website and download the free curriculum to add to your science studies! You’ll find it along with the standards charts, by clicking on Resources and then Educator Tools.
With its engaging, project-based lessons, you’ll be helping to stop the spread of these Hungry Pests in no time!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The opinions and text are all mine.