Lesson Plans: Service Learning

Unit 3.1 Wetland Neighbors

CLICK HERE for pdf file (for upper elementary and middle school). Students will participate in a role-playing activity in order to better understand how wetlands impact and are impacted by the non-wetland habitats which they border.  After this activity, students will be able to:

  • List the different habitat types found within their local area
  • List types of resources that transfer between habitats and ecosystems
  • Conclude which human activities may be threats to wetlands

Additional extension activities:

  • Make an interactive bulletin board that the whole school can contribute to and observe change and problems.   Attach a suggestion box for other students to comment about habits or activities that threaten nature and how they can help.  Little suggestions go a long way.
Brian Merritt, an elementary teacher in Wrangell, Alaska, takes his students on a field trip on the Stikine River. (1:58)


Unit 3.2 Migration Nations

CLICK HERE for pdf file (for upper elementary and middle school).

The migratory species of the Pacific Rim do not recognize political boundaries, but decisions made by the multiple nations along the route affect the overall health of these species.  Using role play, students will begin to recognize the complexity that multiple stakeholders create when addressing the threats that are posed to migratory species.

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the location of the Pacific Rim
  • Conclude that decisions affecting migratory species can be complex, as multiple nations and stakeholders are involved

Additional extension activities:

  • Before the discussion have students/groups caucus with other interested groups to listen and voice concerns.  This will help them get in their roles. Groups decide who they need to caucus with, and will set up a meeting time and place to talk.  Have students make their meeting schedule.  They could create and hand out informational materials to the other groups.   A sharing of information will be more complete before whole group discussion.
Since migrating birds “live” in many countries during their migration, and Dr. Rob Clay with Birdlife International talks about the importance of all countries being involved with their conservation. (1:24)
Gordie Reeves with the USDA Forest Service talks about how climate change will result in more rain as rather than snow and decrease the availability of invertebrates that migrating birds depend on for food. (2:38)

Unit 3.3 Migration Suitcase

CLICK HERE for pdf file (for grades 6 - 8). Students throughout the Pacific Rim have made positive impacts on the migratory species that pass through their area.  Students have improved the health of their local wetlands by monitoring wetland health, hands-on rehabilitation of wetlands, and working to change their community habits and regulations.

Learning about service projects that other students have participated in for the benefit of migratory species, students will begin to learn about the key elements that compose a successful service project.

After this activity, students will be able to:

  • List reasons why species might migrate
  • List some of the key elements that are common to successful service projects

Additional extension activities:

  • Think outside the box and reverse the suitcase with the teacher bringing a suitcase of different items.  Give each student a chance to pick an item from the suitcase. Give the students time to think and give one reason that the item reminds him or her of something to take on a journey.  Other students can add to ideas. 
  • Have students build an animal shelter in a nature area.  Discuss what animals would use this shelter and how it helps the animal.
Peter Davidson with Bird Studies Canada discusses the importance of citizens contributing their wildlife observations to ongoing studies as well as the importance of stopovers for migrating birds.  WT2V1.wmv (3:27)

Unit 3.4 and 3.5 Service Learning Project

CLICK HERE for pdf file (for grades 6 - 8). Students will work toward identifying and implementing a service learning project that will benefit migratory species.  After this activity, students will be able to:

  • List some of the key elements that compose a successful service learning project
  • Describe an example service learning project that benefits migratory species

CLICK HERE for more ideas about service projects involving wetlands.

Students have become involved in restoring the salmon to Mossom Creek and building the hatchery, explains Rod MacVicar, a retired biology teacher who is now director of the Pacific WildLife Foundation. (1:33)
Rod MacVicar, director of the Pacific WildLife Foundation, talks about the importance of clean healthy streams and wetlands for salmon migration. (:58)
Christopher Di Corrado, Coordinator of the British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas, talks about how data gathered by bird watchers is used to make land use decisions. (1:48)
Dr. Martin Berg, a biology professor at Loyola University, talks about the education required to become an aquatic ecologist. (1:22)