Search for Resources

Plastic Education Kit 7-8

A Resource Guide for Teachers Leading Change Grades 7-8

Middle, Secondary

Description

Through a variety of activities, the resource seeks to make students aware of their own plastic use and how their actions will have a direct impact on the environment around them. The education kit encourages students to look at how they use plastic and what they can do to use less, such as swapping plastic water bottles for reusable ones. It also encourages teachers and students to organize beach cleanups. The Plastic Education Kit is comprised of seven lessons:

Lesson 1: After watching the video "What is Plastic?" and the mockumentary "The Majestic Plastic Bag", the students will answer questions in their workbook.

Lesson 2: In this lesson the students will answer questions as a jigsaw activity after watching the video "The Ocean is Life". Then after watching a second video "People Free Sea Lion Entangled in Garbage" they will begin to research an animal of their choice and the impact of plastics on it.

Lesson 3: Students will watch the video "How Does Plastic End Up in the Ocean?" and then discuss various posters.  They will then clean up the school grounds and create a comic strip for primary students on the topic of how litter can travel from the schoolyard to the ocean.  In part 2 of this lesson, the students will watch the video "Turn the Tide on Plastic" and complete an exit slip in their workbook.

Lesson 4:  Students will watch the video "Saving Sea Lions" and answer questions in their workbook.  Then after watching "Host a Shoreline Clean Up" (must register to be able to view), the students will plan and organize their own shoreline clean up.

Lesson 5: After watching the video " The Ocean- A Driving Force for Weather and Climate" and observing a thermocirculation map, the students will participate in a discussion.  In Part 2 of the lesson they will complete a science experiment based on plastics heating the ocean.

Lesson 6: After watching the video "What are microplastics? in 60 seconds" the students will complete questions in their workbook, watch another video on microplastics and then read an article about microplastics in personal hygiene products.

Lesson 7: In the final lesson, the students will prepare for a debate using all of the knowledge they have learned so far.  As a lesson extension the students could prepare a "Plastics Aware Fair" for the school.

In addition the teacher's guide a student workbook can be found here.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource explicitly teaches the students how to debate and how to plan and organize a shoreline clean up.

Strengths

  • There is a substantial amount of background information for the teacher.
  • There are a number of external links to lesson plans for the debate lesson that the teacher would find useful.
  • The activities are engaging and interesting.
  • There are a number of hands-on experiences that will help to make a difference in the community and highlight what the students are learning.

Weaknesses

  • There is a lack of assessment materials and suggestions for students who may experience difficulties.
  • There are a number of external links that are broken or mislabeled.  The teacher may be able to substitute a resource when this occurs.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would very engaging on its own or it could be used to highlight 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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biological Diversity
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Environmental Chemistry (Social and Environmental Contexts Emphasis)
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
        • Science 7: Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Chemistry
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Environmental Action
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Chemistry and the Environment
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Environmental Chemistry (Social and Environmental Contexts Emphasis)
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in the Environment
    • Grade 8
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
        • Science (Applied): Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Content Knowledge
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
        • Science 7: Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.

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
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Very Good

The students participate in activities like a playground clean up, a shoreline clean up and a "Plastics Aware Fair".  In addition, there is a pledge at the end of each lesson that is meant to evoke an observable positive change in behavior.

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 Very Good

Once the knowledge has been delivered, the students have a variety of opportunities to express their beliefs and values on the topic of plastics through comic strips, a shoreline clean up event, a debate and a "Plastics Aware Fair". 

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 Very 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 Very Good
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 and materials that accompany it, allows the students to see how and why plastic was invented.  It also shows that it is necessary in our lives but also gives us alternatives and choices 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 Good
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 Very Good
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 two rubrics provided within the resource: one for the teacher in the lesson plan kit which is intended to be used as an evaluation of student performance throughout the unit.  A copy is in the student workbook for the students to use to self-assess.  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 Satisfactory
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.