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5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Worksheets
  • Lesson Plans, 15 - 20 minutes

Regional Focus




Ecosystem Services Assessment

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  • In this outdoor activity, students assess and investigate ecosystem services provided by nature in an outdoor environment. 
Teaching Tips


  • There is no better way for students to observe, describe, and discover ecosystem services of an area than engaging in an outdoor activity.
  • Students will gain a better understanding of ecosystem services because they can touch, feel, and hear what they are learning about.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will need to print the handouts for students.
  • Classes will need access to an area outside to observe the environment.


  • As an extension, students can complete the table in Part 3 for a second area in the community and present it to their classmates.
  • This activity can be used as a final activity for a unit on ecosystems.
  • Students can be challenged to identify or predict the effects of climate change on ecosystem services in the area where they conducted this activity.
  • Other recommended resources include Ecosystem Services Bingo and Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities.
Scientist Notes
The resource engages students in field activities where they can identify selected ecosystem services and connect these services to the potential benefits they offer. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
      • 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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