Idea for Use in the Classroom

In any ecosystem, there are organisms (both plants and animals) that interact and serve important roles, even if they are often forgotten or considered a nuisance or a pest.

As a whole class, have students go outside and take a species inventory of organisms in and around their school community, focusing on potential pest species. Then have students work in groups to select one plant or animal pest organism to evaluate in depth. 

In their groups, have students develop a list of questions they need to or want to know about their chosen organism (for example, the space it occupies, the places it is found, and how it interacts with both the natural and human world). Have students conduct research to answer questions about their organism.  

Have students communicate information about the importance of these organisms to their communities through a poster, flyer, article, school news channel, or mock social media post. While sharing the information about the organism, students should also make a call for action that the community can take to protect the space it occupies, places it is found, and relationships the organism has with the natural and human world.


community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.


living or once-living thing.

pest species

non-native species introduced to an ecosystem whose existence may cause harm.


group of similar organisms that can reproduce with each other.

species inventory

a list of all the species of organisms living in a specific area.