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An Educator's Guide to Marine Debris: K-5

Elementary

Description

This resource provides educators with a tool to help students become more informed on marine debris and encourage environmental stewardship. The lesson plans aim to create advocates for marine environments with the students it reaches. The lesson plans can be completed independently or in sequence in an early years classroom.

 

  • Let's Talk Trash introduces marine debris and offers a role-playing exercise with the various stakeholders of marine environments.  Within the exercise, the students discuss various ways to reduce or prevent marine debris.                    
  • Trapping Trash has students design and build a machine that collects ocean debris without impacting wildlife.        

 

 

  • It's All Downstream From Here has students complete a clean up of an outdoor area and collect data relating to the trash they collect.

 

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The focus of this resource is on the development of awareness and the empowerment of the students to make a difference rather than skill acquisition.

Strengths

  • interesting and engaging activities for students
  • good quantity and quality of supporting materials and background information
  • easy to use activities and lesson plans

Weaknesses

  • lack of assessment materials
  • lack of suggestions for students with difficulties

Recommendation of how and where to use it

An Educator's Guide to Marine Debris is a great resource to empower students to take action in reducing the consumption of single use plastics by developing awareness.  It is a great stand alone resource for the Science classroom.

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
    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • 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
        • The child explores familiar places and things in the environment and community
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Applying logical thought and creativity enables us to achieve outcomes, solve problems, and develop computational thinking skills.
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Applying logical thought and creativity enables us to achieve outcomes, solve problems, and develop computational thinking skills
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Wetland Ecosystems
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • 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
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Our Environment
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Change and the Physical Environment
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3.Our Local Environment: Science Technology Society and Environment (STSE)
        • Science 3: Our Local Environment:Scientific Literacy
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring My World: Introducing Water
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living Things and the Environment
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Habitats
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air & Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • 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

  • Citizenship (1)

    • General Guide to Taking Action
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • 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 Very Good

In the first activity the students participate in a role playing exercise in which they consider different perspectives and work towards reducing the amount of litter in marine environments.

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 sign a pledge to reduce the amount of plastic they consume.  In addition, they will also complete a clean up activity of an outdoor area.

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 does occur within the role playing exercise.

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 Good

The students will feel empowered to make a difference with the activities that are provided in the lesson plan.  The development of the sense of the past will have to be incorporated by the teacher.

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

All three of the activities within the resource allow for the students to explore the issue and develop their understanding of marine litter and how to effectively engage in solving the problem.

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 included for learners with difficulties.

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

Students design a machine that collects debris in the ocean without impacting wildlife. 

Students go outside to collect trash from the surrounding area and record what they find using the NAMEPA Trash Data form

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 Poor/Not considered

There are no assessment tools included within the resource.

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 Good

There are some suggestions as to how the students can dig deeper into the issue; however, there is not a lot of choice in terms of program content.

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.