Ecosystem services (ES) are the benefits people obtain from nature contributing to our well-being. Although this concept has high didactic potential, its presence in education literature is scarce. This article presents the ES framework as a new teaching principle that taught together with the biodiversity concept, may help students develop competencies to make valid claims about the world and to think critically about humans’ role on Earth. To do so, we present an educational experience based on active teaching and learning strategies implemented with pre-service teachers (PSTs), which is adaptable and transferable to many educational contexts. Teaching ES through active teaching methodologies has proven to be useful and necessary to help PSTs understand and be able to defend the importance of nature conservation. As a result of teaching the ES concept, students improved their argumentation in favor of nature conservation and developed communication competencies to better transfer this knowledge to society. We conclude that teaching ES can make a large contribution to education for sustainable development, as teaching the ES concept contributes to acquiring knowledge, skills (e.g. argumentation capacity), and values that are necessary to shape a sustainable future.