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Plastic Education Kit 2-3

A Resource Guide for Teachers Leading Change Grades 2-3

Elementary

Description

The resource aims to bring awareness of plastic use and how our actions have a direct impact on the environment. The toolkit consists of seven lessons that teach students about plastic pollution and steps they can take to help resolve the problem, such as using reusable water bottles.

Lesson 1: The students will reflect on how the oceans help us, how we harm them and what makes a healthy ocean. They will draw their version of a healthy ocean.

Lesson 2: After watching the video "How does plastic end up in the ocean?" and completing the reflection questions, the students will go outside to collect plastic litter and then place it in a chart. They will discuss reducing, reusing,and recycling litter.

Lesson 3: The students will create an ecosystem with pictures given to them and then introduce plastics into the ecosystem and reflect on its effects.

Lesson 4: The students will learn about food chains and how plastics introduced into the food chain in the ocean can be harmful.  They will also watch a video about reusable lunch containers to encourage understanding.

Lesson 5: After watching the video "Weather vs Climate" the students will complete a diagram of the water cycle in their workbooks.  Then an experiment to determine if plastic will heat up the water below will be completed.

Lesson 6: After watching the video "Microplastics in the Ocean" the students will complete a journal entry with their thoughts and feelings. The students will then discuss how to reduce, reuse and recycle common items found at a beach while observing a picture.

Lesson 7: Students will answer questions summarizing what they have learned and use this knowledge to create a poster.

At the end of each lesson there is a pledge for the students that directly links to an observable action and the lesson completed. They partake in this pledge to help make a difference.

Click the website link to access other resources to accompany the lesson plan.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource does not explicitly teach any specific skills as it is geared toward the delivery of knowledge and awareness.

Strengths

  • There is a substantial amount of background information for the teacher.
  • There are a number of external links to content in the form of videos and other learning materials that would be useful for the teacher.
  • The activities are interesting and are age level appropriate for the student engagement. 

Weaknesses

  • There is a lack of assessment tools for the teacher to use.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be a wonderful resource to use on its own or in addition to other materials for a unit to mark World Oceans Day in early June.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating matter and energy facilitates understandings of natural phenomena and can inspire discovery and innovation.
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 2
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      • Science
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        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
        • Science 2: Materials can be changed through physical and chemical processes
        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
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        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
  • Manitoba
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Habitat and Communities
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 2
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        • You and Your World: Change and the Physical Environment
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        • Habitats
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Habitats
  • Northwest Territories
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        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Nova Scotia
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        • Science 2: Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Science 4: Habitats
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        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
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        • Air & Water in the Environment
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        • Habitats
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  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 2
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Materials can be changed through physical and chemical processes
        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Fisheries
  • Waste Management (2)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    • Source Reduction
  • Water (2)

    • Marine Environments
    • Water Quality

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

As this resource is directed at younger elementary students, the issue is presented in a manner that is easily understandable for the audience.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

Within each lesson, the students take a pledge for a simple action to make a change in their lives toward the use of plastics.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

This resource has the primary focus on educating the students about plastics and developing the idea of alternatives.  This will allow the students to identify their values and be able to express them at their level.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

There is a focus on local recycling and how to make a difference in their own community.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Very Good

This resource, with the videos that accompany it, allows the students to see how and why plastic was developed.  It also shows that it is necessary in our lives but it gives us alternatives and ideas for the future.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

There are no strategies for learners with difficulties included in the resource.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

There are rubrics provided: one for the teacher in the lesson plan kit and another for the students to self-assess in their workbook.  Specific assessments are not included for the activities.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.