Here are a few different exercises that you can use to get students more curious about nature’s services.
Copy E-cards as duplicates and use them as a memory game.
The teacher goes through the various ecosystem services based on the E-cards. Write the four categories on the board: supporting, provisionary, regulatory, cultural. Then place the E-cards under each heading.
Be outdoors. Stand in a large circle. All participants have their own E-cards. The teacher describes an ecosystem service using an E-card. When some participants feel that they have a card that corresponds to the teacher’s description, they then run one round counterclockwise. The one who comes back to their place first gets to talk about their E-card. If it corresponds correctly to what the teacher described, then the student gets to take two steps forward.
- What do I need?:
Be outdoors. Ask the question ”What do I need to live a good life?” Students will probably respond saying things like food, water, music, love, siblings, school, mobile phone … e.g. both primary and secondary needs.
- Are my needs in nature?:
Be outdoors. Students walk around for five minutes and look for things that can satisfy the needs of the students in the previous task. Pick a pair of natural objects that show this. For example: a leaf for oxygen and sorrel for food.
- Are ecosystem services in nature?:
Be outdoors. Use the E-cards. Students work best in pairs of two. They get two E-cards per group. They go around looking for concrete examples in reality of the E-cards’ ecosystem services.
- Photograph ecosystem services:
Be outdoors. Use an appropriate camera phone or digital camera. Go for a walk in nature with eyes on the lookout. Look for ecosystem services that can be photographed. See example on page 18.
- Put a price tag on nature:
As a closing task they can try to evaluate a walk in nature in terms of money. If we had to pay an entrance fee to take advantage of all ecosystem services, what would you want to pay then? Motivate your answer.
- Evaluate the work:
– How did it go?
– Was it a fun/interesting task?
– Did you realise something that you didn’t know already about you and nature?
– What did you learn? Is it is an important piece of knowledge?
These exercises are from the material Nature’s services.