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


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Activity - Outdoors

Regional Focus

North America, United States



EnviroAtlas Educational Curriculum

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  • This resource by the EPA is a lesson plan for 4th-12th graders that gets students out into the local environment and exploring nature. 
  • In this lesson, students discover connections between the environment, ecosystem services, and human health, through collaborative discussions, hands-on activities, and an interactive web-based tool. 

Teaching Tips


  • Most of the activities are hands-on or outdoor activities, and therefore engaging for students.
  • The lesson plan is very customizable with multiple options for activities, discussion questions, and timing.
  • The resource provides suggestions for "teachable moments" and ways to productively correct student misconceptions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This lesson plan uses the 5E model.
  • Teachers will need to prepare and provide the materials required, such as the Eco-Health notecards, string, and computers with Internet access.
  • The lesson plan assumes that students are familiar with basic environmental concepts.
  • The lesson plan is aligned to state standards for grades 4-12 in all 50 states and DC.


  • This lesson plan provides many ways for teachers to tailor the lesson to their students, specifically in the engage and elaborate sections.
  • This lesson plan is designed for students in grades 4-12, which is a very wide range. Teachers will need to adjust this lesson plan accordingly to fit their students' needs. 
  • The lesson uses the Eco-Health Relationship Browser, which students may enjoy exploring beyond the scope of this lesson.
  • Check out this resource that explains the health benefits of planting trees or this video that provides more information about ecosystem dynamics.
  • Other lesson plans by the EPA include Ecosystem Services Assessment and Services That Stick both geared toward middle school students.
Scientist Notes
The resource gives students insights on how to explore and give scientific explanation to the interaction of human health and ecosystem distribution and services. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
      • 4-ESS3-2 Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
      • 3-5-ETS1-2 Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
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