Students at Fall Brook Elementary in Leominster, MA have written an ABC book about invasive species titled, “Aliens Have Landed: Exotic Invasive Species of New England”. The book details exotic pests from the Asian longhorned beetle to the zebra mussel.
The students, now in the sixth grade, created the book last year in their science class as part of a Community Service Learning Project focusing on educating students and community members about invasive species.
Each page of the book, designed for grades 1-3, was written by a different student and describes the damage to the environment caused by non-native pests. One student wrote about the Asian longhorned beetle, “You wouldn’t want to find one of these climbing up your hardwood trees!” Another wrote about invasive species in general, “Spread the word about these dreaded invaders!” The entries in the book are accompanied by inventive and colorful drawings.
Teacher Lynn Fiandaca said the students “loved everything about the project” and became experts on the invasive species they studied. She said she was “impressed with their dedication to learning and sharing information with the community. They really did develop a sense of stewardship and commitment to keep our local ecosystem healthy and diverse.”
To help get the word out about invasive species, Ms. Fiandaca and her class have generously allowed us to share a digital copy of “Aliens Have Landed” for anyone to view and print out. Perhaps it will inspire other groups of children to create their own guides.
The Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project (MIPOP), created by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, often sends teachers information about invasive species, including flyers, posters and DVDs. Staff from MIPOP also visit schools in MA to give talks to students about the Asian longhorned beetle and other invaders. Teachers interested in ordering outreach materials or scheduling talks can contact jennifer.forman-orth (AT) state.ma.us.