Mindful Service Learning Curriculum Module 1 Unit 6

The Gifts of Nature


Learn about the importance of water for sustaining life.
Identify several sources of water on Earth.
Begin to develop an awareness of the limited availability of freshwater to sustain human life.
Develop a deeper appreciation for Nature’s gift of water for sustaining life.

SEL Competencies

Social Awareness, Responsible Decision-Making


Increasing knowledge increases gratitude (Konig & Gluck, 2014) and regularly practicing gratitude increases motivation to engage in positive behaviors (Armenta, et.al., 2017), such as engaging in kind acts for others (Bartlett & DeStano, 2006). Because nature connects all living beings on Earth, learning about and caring for the gifts of Nature is a kind act, thus strengthening our compassionate connections with each other.

Core Concept

Widening our perspectives by increasing awareness about Nature’s gift of water and expressing gratitude for the life-giving role water plays in the health, safety, and happiness of all 3 circles of the Wheel of Gratitude.

Student Extension

Show care for the Gifts of Nature by creating Nature Bookmarks.

  1. Reflect and Brainstorm: Ask students to think of as many gifts of Nature as possible. Write them in the Wheel of Gratitude.
    1. Then, break students into small groups. Assign each group a different gift of Nature to research and find out the answers to these questions:
      1. Why is this gift of Nature important for keeping us safe, healthy, and happy?
      2. What can we do to care for this gift of Nature?
  2. Engage in Service: Have students use recycled paper or paper scraps to create a bookmark that includes the following elements:
    1. A drawing or picture of the gift of Nature.
    2. One reason it is important for our safety, health, and happiness.
    3. One thing we can do to care for this gift of Nature.
  3. After students complete their bookmarks, laminate them and have students deliver them to lower grade students and tell them what they learned about the gift of Nature.
  4. Reflect on Service:
    1. How did learning more about the gifts of Nature impact your perspective about Nature?
    2. What is something you learned about Nature that surprised you?
    3. What is something you might do differently now to care for Nature?