The comparison activity

This is a worksheet and activity meant to support the first day of the Outdoor Calendar series of activities. It might not make sense on its own. If this isn’t a great activity for your students — it’s a bit strange — consider the invoice activity.

  • The worksheet. If you decide to go with this, print one for each participant before the lesson.

Here’s how the activity works.

After talking about the four categories of services, the students are informed that one local ecosystem ‘needs’ to be destroyed. (Some fun ideas for why: there are materials there needed for making batteries, or we have to install new solar systems or to build housing.)

Pass out the worksheet above.

We brainstorm three local ecosystems — this can be a park, a local forest any “nature” that we love — that we all like but where none of us live. (We’re not going to destroy anyone’s home in class!) We write the three ecosystems on the worksheet.

Then, the participants are put into groups and assigned an ecosystem. They have to ‘defend’ the ecosystem assigned to them by talking about the great things their ecosystem has.

Then, we go through the table, one column at a time. At “habitat services” we ask “what lives in your ecosystem? Why is it important? For each category, the group — or the teacher — ranks the ecosystems from one (last valuable) to three (most valuable).

At the end, we total the values up. The ecosystem with the fewest points is destroyed. Sorry!

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