The Vine that Swallowed the South 
A Science WebQuest for Grades 6-8 
Designed by 
Laura Robertson and Patrick Clark 

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits

Oh, no!  It's around my toe!  
Oh, gee!  It's over my knee!  
Oh, my!  It's up to my thigh!

Kudzu is an invasive plant that has been called the vine that swallowed the south.  Kudzu grows incredibly fast and is hard to control.  It is a serious threat throughout the south, and no one is quite sure how to stop it.  

That's why we need YOU!

Your mission is to research kudzu to answer the following questions: 

  • What methods of controlling kudzu have been developed?
  • What alternative uses of kudzu have been developed?
  • Which of these do you think is the best solution to manage kudzu?
Look closely.  Do you see the house in this picture? 
It's being swallowed by kudzu!
Hurry!  Before it's too late!!!!!!!!

The Task 

You and your partner will work together to find out why kudzu is such a problem and what can be done to stop it.  You will visit different websites to gather information and complete your mission.  

Your mission is: 

1 Find information on the history of kudzu.  Answer the questions who, what, when, where, and why. 

2 Research control methods and alternative uses for kudzu.  

3 Decide which control method or alternative use for kudzu you and your partner think is the most promising. 

4 Summarize your findings and suggestion in 2-paragraph paper that you create together using WordPerfect. 

The Process 
Get Ready
1 Chose a partner to work with. 
2 Gather materials.  You will need to take notes during your WebQuest. 
3 Go to Kudzu to learn the scientific name of kudzu. 
4 Go to The Amazing Story of Kudzu to learn about the history of kudzu.  Answer each of these questions: 
  • When was kudzu first introduced the U.S.?
  • Where was kudzu first introduced?
  • Who promoted the use of kudzu and paid people to plant it?
  • Why was the use of kudzu promoted during the 1930's and 40's?
Kudzu Control Methods   
5 Go back to Kudzu and to KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  to learn about control methods for kudzu. Take notes on what you learn. 
Kudzu  Alternative Uses 
6 Go to KUDZU IN APPALACHIA.  Scroll down to the section entitled "What to do about kudzu."  Find out about alternative uses for kudzu.  Take notes on what you learn. 
7 Go back to The Amazing Story of Kudzu and read the section entitled "Uses for Kudzu: It's here. It's free... Why not?" Take notes on what you learn. 
8 Discuss with your partner the control methods and alternative uses for kudzu you have learned about.  Chose the method that you both think is best. 
9 Write a 2 paragraph paper on kudzu.  You and your partner will write this together. 
  • Paragraph 1 - Summarize the history of kudzu (who, what, when, where, & why).
  • Paragraph 2 - Summarize control methods and alternative uses.  Give your opinion on the best method or alternative use and defend your opinion.
10 Finish your WebQuest by exploring other invasive species listed in the conclusion. 


You will receive two grades upon the completion of this WebQuest. 

Individual Grade - (20pts)  

  • on task participation during class time (10pts)
  • your contributions to the written paper (10pts)
Group Grade - (30pts)  
  • summary of material (10pts)
  • suggestions for control (10pts)
  • quality of writing (10pts)


Kudzu is just one invasive plant species.  You've seen how much damage it can cause and how difficult it is to control, but plants aren't the only type of invasive species.  Check out these websites to learn about other invasive species. 

Credits & References 

Kudzu field from : Invaders from Earth 
Kudzu leaf from: Kudzu Creations, Inc. 
Kudzu cabin from: Kudzu -the Vine 
Kudzu truck from: Kudzu -the Vine 

Based on a template from The WebQuest Page