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This resource uses a video lesson, a fast-paced interactive game, and a group activity to highlight the ongoing problems that plastics and other forms of garbage create for marine environments and the animals that live there.
After watching a powerful video produced by Jean-Michel Cousteau, called "Trash On the Spin Cycle", students discover what causes huge quantities of land-based garbage to end up in one of the most remote parts of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. It encourages individuals and communities to recycle plastics, bottles and cans to reduce the amount of solid waste headed to landfills and into our waterways.
One post-video activity is a web-based game called "Kure Waste Chase", in which students are environmental heroes ridding the island of Kure of dangerous debris while at the same time learning about the ecosystems they are trying to save. Playing the role of a volunteer on an ocean adventures team, students visit the beaches of Kure Atoll(on ATVs), the surface water surrounding the atoll (on Zodiacs), and underwater coral reefs neighboring the atoll(with SCUBA gear) . They score points for collecting garbage, but also complete location data sheets, marine data sheets, and species data sheets. The collected data is analyzed, put into Venn Diagrams and compiled in a report. Students are then asked to write a story on the "life cycle of marine debris" and present it to the class as a skit or through illustrations.
In the culminating activity "You Are What You Eat- Plastics and Marine Life", students examine how plastics are used in everyday life, study the different types of plastic, and perform an activity which shows how the feeding areas of marine animals (surface, pelagic, and benthic) are affected by different types of plastic.
Lessons include discussion questions, handouts, data collection sheets, and teacher answer keys.
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||Good|
A positive biased towards the importance of decreasing land-based garbage from entering marine ecosystems exists. Students gather facts and information and draw their own conclusions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource links the environmental issue of human impacts on marine ecosystems with consumer choices and waste disposal techniques used by society. Decreasing these impacts requires lifestyle choices to change and has financial implications.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Although not examining all aspects of the issue, it promotes dialogue and the exploration of issues through video, class discussions, interactive games and group activities.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Poor- there is no authentic action experience
|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
The resource does give students some opportunities to do self-reflection and identify their values.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
The possible destruction of marine habitats could have implications for humans. This builds empathy for those who live near and around the North Pacific Hawaiian islands.
|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|
Although no practical out-of doors experience is included in the lesson, the resource does encourage a personal affinity with non-humans and the Earth. The video is powerful and compelling and will certainly build empathy for those marine creatures and ecosystems that are affected by human impacts.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
This resource has local focus as all households make decisions about consumption and waste-disposal practices. It could encourage them to be even more vigilant in their waste sorting/recycling practices.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
Present day situations are observed and evaluated with students encouraged to play a role in implementing solutions. The future is seen as positive if students begin to promote and model change.
|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 discover some of the answers on their own, although often steered in the 'right' direction by the teacher.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although primary a science lesson, learning opportunities are also included for math, art and language arts.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Both the powerful video clip and the interactive game are unique learning experiences.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Activities that teach to both the cognitive and affective domains are included. No suggestions are given for differentiated instruction or accommodation for struggling learners/readers. Some changes would be required for the report following the Kure Waste Chase game. Appropriate grouping could help with some of these issues.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Poor- Although previewing, viewing and post-viewing questions are provided, no rubrics or suggestions are provided for assessment especially with the Kure Waste Chase report, and the You Are What You Eat plastics activity. Asseesment tools must be developed by the teacher.
|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: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
The video clip is a powerful & visual case study. Many more are found via links.
|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|
Although the resource is quite specific with regards to program content and the medium in which they work, students do have opportunities in post lesson activities and resource links to delve deeper into issues of they choose.
|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.|