- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
This activity based resource developed by the UN Clean Seas campaign contains a series of projects that involve students in identifying and quantifying plastic waste at school and home. The problem-based learning experience develops environmental citizenship skills to reduce the deluge of plastic debris that is littering our oceans. A multi-disciplinary approach strengthens critical thinking skills as students:
The student-centered projects in this resource support science outcomes related to properties of materials, pollution and waste management. The activities also reinforce verbal and written communication skills while involving students in learning about local communities.
The emphasis on individual action provides an outstanding opportunity to extend the learning with an environmental citizenship plan that focuses on becoming a more sustainable school. Students could initiate a community bottle recycling program that raises funds for local sports teams. Pollution challenges could recognize pupils and teachers who demonstrate a commitment to reducing waste generation with personal changes. “Trash Talk” facts could be prepared for morning announcements and a class could work with administration to source school supplies that use recycled plastic in their products.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
A balanced approach identifies the significance of plastic as one of our most innovative technological advances while recognizing that responsible consumption is essential to mitigating the negative environmental impacts of such a useful material.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
This resource highlights reuse as the key to the sustainability of a product that reduces consumer costs and benefits economies. The goal is to remove the single use products that are convenient but have huge impacts on ecosystem and human health as they degrade into the environment. Students are also asked to consider the role of technological innovation in relieving the plastic burden.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The issue of plastic waste is often associated with visible objects such as bags and bottles. The activities also consider plastic pollution generated from products like synthetic fibres or dust from the abrasion of car tires. Students develop an awareness that these invisible contaminants are equally damaging to ocean ecosystems but are much more difficult to remove from the environment.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Very Good|
Throughout this resource students are engaged in considering how individual action can support global initiatives to reduce pollution. The “Reduce the Use” and “Setting Targets” activities establish the framework for the development of personal waste reduction goals that are individually achievable and collectively create healthier oceans.
|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
This resource uses an informed decision-making process to involve students in constructive behaviour changes that reduce reliance on single-use plastics. The emphasis on community-based action also makes the learning much more meaningful for students.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|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||Satisfactory|
A beach clean-up would connect students with the natural environment while reinforcing an awareness of the local impacts of plastic pollution.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students survey community attitudes towards recycling to learn about the challenges in reducing plastic waste at a local level.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
Student driven strategies for reducing environmental impacts support looking towards the future with long-lasting changes in the way they think about sustainability.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students are able to self direct their research and formulate their own opinions as they identify personal action strategies.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The “Survey of Plastics” activity combines science information about properties of materials with mathematics tasks involving quantifying and recording data. The lesson deepens understanding about the social aspects of their community in relationship to the broader global issue. Students also actively engage in reflection and self-assessment and use English Language Arts skills to communicate information.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The teacher role in most of the activities is to support rather than direct student discussions. This strategy ensures there are many opportunities for self discovery which facilitates active student involvement in the learning outcomes.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
There are no specific differentiation strategies but the hands on approach will appeal to a variety of learning styles.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The inquiry based lesson fosters an awareness of the relationship between action and results in confronting a global issue that is currently at the forefront of environmental concerns in maintaining a healthy Earth.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
A teamwork process actively involves students in peer interaction and supports open dialogue.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
|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||Poor/Not considered|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Focusing on the topic from the context of small changes leading to big differences clearly demonstrates the strength of individual actions in addressing global environmental issues.
|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|
|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.|