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Plastic Ahoy!

Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch



This non-fiction book takes students aboard the research vessel, New Horizon, to explore the huge ocean gyre known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As learners delve into scientific investigations examining the impacts of marine litter, they will strengthen inquiry skills and develop an awareness of how micro-plastics can disrupt ecosystems and food webs. The text also encourages students to recognize that although it may be impossible to completely eradicate these floating garbage dumps, we can certainly alter the future of our oceans by being more responsible about plastic waste.



General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This book supports scientific literacy with authentic investigations communicated by young scientists and many opportunities for questioning and interpreting the information that is being read. The content also provides a fascinating introduction to marine ecosystem concepts and ocean habitat conservation.

A class could extend the text by researching the average life span of typical litter items and creating a “Top 10” list of the worst offenders. This list could become the basis of creating change within the school through environmental projects like organizing “plastic-free” lunches, petitioning for the removal of single-use plastics from the school cafeteria or improving school recycling programs.


Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

Citizenship (1)

  • General Guide to Taking Action

Science and Technology (1)

  • Alternative Ways of Doing Science

Waste Management (3)

  • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Solid Waste Disposal
  • Source Reduction

Water (1)

  • Marine Environments