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Investigating Ocean Pollution

Elementary

Description

The world's oceans are under constant threat from pollution and it is imperative that we take immediate action or the consequences could be devastating. An experiential learning approach forms the basis of this module that has students explore the properties of plastics that litter local marine environments and the impacts of oil pollution. Authentic research consists of a series of hands-on inquiries where the learners:

  • Identify types of plastic litter according to recycling symbols.

  • Test buoyancy and degradability of plastic litter to consider how these materials impact oceans.

  • Model an oil spill on a beach and evaluate student ideas for clean up.

As students conduct these studies they will certainly reflect on their own consumer choices and deepen their understanding of the vital role of prevention over mitigation in ensuring the sustainability of marine environments.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

Throughout this activity students are able to develop science process skills such as observation, measurement and communication to make inferences and examine cause and effect. This resource supports scientific literacy and curriculum outcomes related to ecosystems, sustainable consumption, marine environments and human impacts on the environment.                       

 

One key learning goal is that students develop their own awareness that pollution is not easily solved and it becomes very difficult to prevent impacts on ecosystems once items like plastic waste or oil have entered a natural area. A preventative approach is fundamentally the best long term solution. A class could become ambassadors for this message by developing and implementing some pollution prevention projects for schools that are available on the Government of Canada website.

 

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 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • 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 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
    • Grade 5
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Properties of and Changes in Substances
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 5
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Properties & Changes in Materials
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Matter and Materials: Properties of and Changes in Matter
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Habitats
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 5: Chemical and Physical Properties
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Matter and Materials: Properties of and Changes in Matter
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats and Communities
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Matter and Energy: Properties of and Changes in Matter
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Properties and Changes in Materials
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Properties and Changes of Materials
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • 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

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Habitat Loss
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Water (1)

    • Marine Environments