Do you know where your breakfast came from? Do you like to birdwatch? Do you drink clean water? You’re probably wondering what these questions have to do with each other. Ecosystems do a lot for us, and scientists have started to characterize and keep track of some of those services. We can think of ecosystem services as a check, or an invoice. It helps us see what all the different organisms, objects, and processes are that support a functioning world.
In this synchronous activity, students will be introduced to the concept of ecosystem services and will spend some time collaboratively exploring visual representations of different services. Following this, they will asynchronously design an ecosystem services map for their front yard, backyard, or another location close to home, which they will present in the following class meeting.
Interdisciplinary with art.
This lesson was originally written for Biology 1. With modification, it could apply to Earth and Human Activity Environmental Science standards.