Nature’s Services

Students will be encouraged to stop and think about the “services” that nature provides, to make life on Earth possible, and that enable us to thrive.
Grades: K-7
Seasons: All
Time: 15-60 minutes
Supplies: Journal, pencil, pen, crayons.
Resources: Nature's Services List
Lesson Plan PDF


For this journaling assignment, we’d like you to think about some of the things that nature does to make our lives awesome. You can write or draw your ideas for answering some of the following questions.

Write or draw:

1. Think about our basic needs as humans (air, water, food, shelter). How does nature help us meet these basic needs?

2. Where does the food you eat come from?

3. Besides helping us to meet our basic needs, are there other important things that nature does for us? What would the world be like if nature wasn’t always working so hard?

4. Where does all our waste go? What would be all around you if nature wasn’t busy cleaning up?

5. Where do many of our medicines come from?

6. Nature also provides inspiration to people. How do you feel when you see a herd of elk, or an eagle soaring above, or a fox running across a field? How do you feel after spending time in nature?

7. Can you write or draw a message of gratitude to nature and all it does for us?

Grades 4-7 Extension:

In addition to considering the questions above, explore the Nature’s Services List attachment with your parents or teachers and choose at least two services that perhaps you had not thought about before. Focus on those for your journal entry.

For example, if you chose “Land Loss Minimization”, most commonly referred to as erosion control, reflect on and appreciate how clear and full of life your local creek is most of the year. This is due partially to intact soil and minimal pollution. If we didn’t have the roots of plants and trees holding the soil in place, the once clear water would be a muddy brown.

If you chose “Pollination” you could think about everything you’ve eaten over the last 48 hours and break down where that food came from. Most of the food you have eaten would not be available if it were not for the nature service that pollinators like bees, bats and birds offer the earth.

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