Introduction to Ecosystem Services
This suite of six mini-lessons (designed for grades 4-6, but adaptable to multiple grades) introduces the concept of ecosystem services. The suite of all six lessons together uses a blended learning format to do three things (1) get kids outside, (2) engage students with an interactive, online, cutting-edge technology tool from the US EPA, and (3) have students participate in hands-on activities in their classrooms. These lessons could supplement ecosystems units across grade levels. Student handouts are printable and ready-to-go. Teacher handouts contain teacher instructions and science standards. All of the files below are part of EPA Report # 600/R-18/231.
"Introduction to Ecosystem Services" suite of 6 mini-lessons: Teacher Guide (pdf)
Teacher guide for use with entire 5E interactive, hands-on, and outdoors lessons. Contains instructions for preparation, procedure, and alignment with standards.
Ecosystem Services Lesson #1: BINGO! (pdf)
Instructions and printable student handouts for BINGO lesson (to be done outdoors). Handouts include versions with images and versions without images. 10 unique handouts available for each version; students working in pairs is encouraged.
Ecosystem Services Lesson #2: Healthy Environment, Healthy You (pdf)
Instructions and printable student handouts for nature journaling exercise that integrates time spent in nature and student discussion of excerpts from scientific journal articles that highlight the human health benefits of time spent outdoors.
Ecosystem Services Lesson #3: EnviroAtlas Webquest (pdf)
Instructions and printable student handouts for technology-based lesson using the EPA’s EnviroAtlas tool. Laptops or computers required for use of this mini-lesson.
Ecosystem Services Lesson #4: EnviroAtlas Assessment (pdf)
Instructions and printable student handouts for hands-on, outdoors, Ecosystem Services Assessment. In this lesson, students investigate the ecosystem services on their local school grounds.
Ecosystem Services Lesson #5: Services that Stick (pdf)
Instructions and printable student handouts for hands-on, glue-and-scissors activity where students connect the ecosystem services to actual ecosystems. This crafty activity is a great addition to a unit on ecosystems!
Ecosystem Services Lesson #6: Buckets of Benefits (pdf)
Instructions and printable student handouts for hands-on activity that has students inspect everyday objects and develop analogies for those objects in ecosystems. Objects encouraged but not required: photos of all objects included in the handouts.