Ecosystem Under Attack: Invasive Species of the Boston Harbor Islands

While investigating the ecosystems of the Boston Harbor Islands and the invasive species that threaten them, fifth graders build critical observation skills through experiences that engage their five senses. They develop research skills as they tackle complex scientific texts and synthesize their findings in a field guide, featuring scientifically accurate sketches, habitat descriptions, species information, etymology of scientific names, and impacts on local ecosystems. A parallel study of nature-inspired music prepares students to actively listen to and record the sounds of one of the harbor island during fieldwork. Students then compose their own short instrumental composition, inspired by the images and sounds of these gems of Boston.

Grade Level: 5
Subjects: Life Science, ELA, Music, Visual Art

What are the characteristics of a coastal ecosystem?
How do invasive species threaten the ecosystem of the Boston Harbor Islands?
How can we represent nature through art and music?

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