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The Nature Conservancy


4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Health, Social-Emotional Learning

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

How Does Nature Improve Your Health?

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  • This short, animated video describes the many reasons why taking care of our planet is one of the best things we can do to improve human health.
  • Students will learn specific reasons why trees and nature are fundamental to our health, such as protection from air pollution and shade from the heat, and how many communities have little access to it.
Teaching Tips


  • This video has engaging graphics and provides captions in many languages.
  • Important statements and statistics are displayed on the screen for emphasis.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Since the video has a lot of text on the screen, explain to less-experienced readers that the text is just a support, but everything is read aloud so it isn't necessary to read it all. 
  • The video moves quickly and provides a lot of statistics, so it may be helpful to view this short video more than once or pause periodically.


  • This video may be a good supplement for a more comprehensive lesson about disappearing green spaces or environmental justice.
  • Have students write letters to local leaders to show support for bringing more green space to communities.
  • As an extension for social studies and civics classes, students can research local policies that prioritize nature and brainstorm how these policies could be improved or implemented (if missing).
  • Art or language arts students could create posters or write essays explaining why nature is fundamental to human health, ensuring that students back up their stances with facts, such as the data presented in this video.
  • Break students up into groups to further research a specific aspect of nature's impact on human health, such as providing healthy air, the value of green space, clean water, lowering stress levels, providing healthy foods, or another topic covered in the video.
Scientist Notes
This video resource from The Nature Conservancy examines how being in nature can improve human health and decrease mortality rates. The video points out how forests provide clean drinking water for many of the world’s cities and how healthy soil, bees, and other pollinators provide good, nutritious food. The resource then turns to unequal access to nature, especially among impoverished communities. Discrepancies in access to nature can likely be seen by students in their own cities, as inner-city parks are often just open sports fields while suburban parks often also feature sprawling natural spaces. This resource is relatable, clear, and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.8.6-8 Analyze how relationships between humans and environments extend or contract spatial patterns of settlement and movement.
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.4.3-5 Use evidence to develop claims in response to compelling questions.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.3-5 Draw on disciplinary concepts to explain the challenges people have faced and opportunities they have created, in addressing local, regional, and global problems at various times and places.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.3 Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1.8.3 Analyze how the environment affects personal health.
      • 1.8.7 Describe the benefits of and barriers to practicing healthy behaviors.
    • Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
      • 2.8.10 Explain how school and public health policies can influence health promotion and disease prevention.
    • Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
      • 8.8.1 State a health-enhancing position on a topic and support it with accurate information.
  • Related Resources


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