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Lesson #3 of Green Spaces Unit

Database Provider


Nonfiction, Physical Geography


3rd, 4th, 5th


Social Studies, Geography, English Language Arts


55 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Indigenous Communities and the Environment (Green Spaces #3)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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This lesson connects Indigenous communities with the natural environment. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Teacher reviews ecosystem services and introduces the four types of ecosystem services: giving services, checking services, supporting services, and cultural services.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students read two articles on Newsela about Indigenous Peoples. One is about government policy, and the other is about climate activism.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students share their notes from the articles and watch one final video on youth climate activists.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson connects government policy to Indigenous activism.
  • Heterogeneous small groups allow for supported learning.
  • Excellent social studies and ELA integration.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 3 of 6 in our 3rd-5th grade Green Spaces unit.
  • If you choose to have the students walking around and writing on posters in the Inspire section, you must have the posters up and ready before the lesson. Students could also write their thoughts on a chalkboard or whiteboard.
  • Prior knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and their resistance to colonialism is helpful.


  • Newsela offers different reading levels and read alouds for students of varying abilities.
  • Grouping students by ability may be helpful in the Investigate section if students are reading aloud to each other.
Scientist Notes

The lesson explores the relationship between man and nature and how culture influences ecosystem services. It gives a foundation for young people to be change agents in their generation. This lesson has passed our credibility process and is recommended for the classroom.


Primary Standards

  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.3-5 Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Green Spaces Unit Lesson Plans


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