Partnerships for Reform through Investigative Science and Math - PRISM

Hawaiʻi’s Invasive Animals

A Hands-on Guide to Hawaiʻi’s Invasive Animals

Grade Level: Third Grade

Purpose: By studying invasive animals and their impact on Hawaiʻi’s environment, the student will be able to:

  • Identify levels of community structure (anthropogenic and biological) and how organisms rely on each other for survival.
  • Classify organisms by means of arrival (native, introduced) to Hawaiʻi, and their role in Hawaiʻi’s ecosystems.
  • Assess the impact of invasive animals on humans and other organisms.
  • Determine the role humans play in the adverse impacts on invasive animals.
  • Evaluate the means for control of invasive animals in Hawaiʻi.


Invasive animals are those species that are introduced to native Hawaiʻi environments by humans. They negatively impact the native and endemic plants and animals by disrupting the trophic levels of communities. In doing so, invasive animals decimate the biodiversity of terrestrial environments. It is difficult to control invasive animals because of their defense mechanisms against island organisms and their rapid proliferation. Humans are the root cause of invasive animal impact and they are able to develop means of control for the benefit of the island’s native species. This curriculum utilizes inquiry-based activities to introduce the need to maintain natural environments and cultivate social responsibility.

Downloadable Lessons

This unit was created and piloted by Whitney Nekoba, Casey Hanoa, and Michele Sasaki-Cann.