Activity 1: Weed Risk Assessment Bingo
Materials & Setup
Print enough bingo cards for every student to have one, plus ten or more spares, depending on how many rounds you would like to play.
For each student:
- 1 Bingo card pp. 13-71
- 32 Bingo markers (pennies, beans, or other small objects will work)
- Student Page “How to Spot a Potential Plant Pest” pp. 73-75
- Scrap paper
1) Pre-assign the Student Page “How to Spot a Potential Plant Pest” as homework or read it in class.
2) Lead a discussion about the weed risk assessment process with your students, using information from the Teacher Background page “The Hawai’i-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment.”
3) Tell students that they will be playing a game of bingo based on questions drawn from the Hawai’i-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment. Pass out bingo cards and markers. Each card represents a different non-native species found in Hawai’i. Some, but not all, are invasive.
4) Read the characteristics on the Teacher Background Page “Weedy Characteristics” slowly, one at a time. Students place markers on their cards as the matching characteristics are read. Characteristics have different point values. Some indicate such a high potential for invasiveness that they earn two or five points. Other characteristics indicate a low potential for invasiveness and earn a negative point score. Have students tally their scores separately on a piece of scrap paper. When a student’s card earns 9 points, it’s an invasive pest. He or she yells “pest” and the game pauses. If the card is filled out properly, he or she wins that round.
5) Have the winning student read each characteristic with a marker on it. Discuss with the class why having that characteristic might make a species likely to become invasive.
6) Remove the winning weed card from rotation, replacing it with a spare. (To illustrate the weed’s invasiveness, you can place it in a “quarantine” box.) Have students clear and swap their cards with one another between each round. Play several more rounds, reading the questions in a different order each time. In a final blackout round, the first student to completely fill his or her card wins.
7) Starting with the cards having the most markers and finishing with the cards having the least, review each of the characteristics. Discuss why having a particular suite of characteristics might make a species even more likely to become invasive. Ask how many students did not have nine markers. Plants that score just below nine fall into a gray area: they may or may not be weeds. At present they are not likely to become invasive, but they require further evaluation. Plants with low scores are not weeds. They can be safely planted in Hawai’i. Ask students to guess the identity of their species. The cards are numbered; match the numbers on the cards to the numbered species.
- What characteristics make a plant weedy? What characteristics don’t appear to affect weediness? What could be the influence of certain combinations of characteristics? (For instance “bird-dispersed” and “many seeds.”)
- Do you think that plants that score high on the Hawai’i-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment should be allowed into Hawai’i? Why or why not? What about plants that score low?
- What are the benefits of using non-weedy species in landscaping and agriculture?
- Name a species that has weedy characteristics but is also considered useful in Hawai’i. Who gains from its use? Who (or what) is negatively impacted by its continued use? Is it possible to mitigate the negative impacts? Who should be responsible for/pay for that mitigation?
- Participation in game and discussion
- Journal entries