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Plastics present a major challenge to terrestrial and marine ecosystems as well as to our health. This resource helps students identify the biggest plastic waste producing countries and industries in the world. As such, it it is one piece in any study of the larger issue of the impact of plastics on our world.
Students practice skills related to data reporting and analysis.
The topic is critical and current. The data provided is part of a piece in understanding the larger issue of our dependence on plastics and their impact.
The additional resources attached to the lesson offer teachers and students an opportunity to explore the issue beyond the relative limited objectives of the lesson.
The aim of the resource is to provide data. It does that in a straight forward manner - read, record, report. Little effort is made to adopt a pedagogy that students might find more interesting.
The lesson may be used as part of a larger unit on the study of the role of plastics in our society. It also may be used by math teachers who are anxious to use authentic data to teach outcomes related to units on Statistics and Probability.
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||Satisfactory|
The lesson plan offers data rather than opinion. The objective is to provide information about the amount of plastic produced by companies and countries.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
The issue of plastic production and disposal has economic, environmental and social implications. The exploration of these considerations is however beyond the objectives of this lesson. A number of the additional resources cited in the lesson plan do offer a great deal of useful background information on these considerations.
Teachers may choose to use this lesson plan for the limited objectives set out and seek other resources to explore the economic, environmental, and social implications of our use of plastics.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The lesson limits itself to offering data - who produces plastics. Once this is in place, other lessons are needed to explore questions related to why we have become so dependent on plastics?; how does our use of plastics affect our health? How are ecosystems and the oceans affected by plastic disposal and what can we do to address this crisis?
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
There is an opportunity here for teachers to have students examine their personal use of plastics and what collective action might be undertaken. This may include such activities as plastic collection efforts along rivers and oceans. The lesson, however, does not provide direction for such positive action.
|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
|Values Education||Poor/Not considered|
The topic is rich in opportunities to have students investigate their and societies values - what value do we attach to convenience? should we be concerned about the impact of our use of plastics on other living things? Such discussions would rely on teacher initiative or other lesson plans.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
A study of the impact of plastics on the planet may be expected to help students connect with the natural world but this would have to be another lesson plan.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Poor/Not considered|
The opportunity to examine our use of plastics at the local level and what might be done to reduce our use is there but is not within the purview of this lesson plan.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Poor/Not considered|
The lesson plan identifies the players in the current production of plastic but does not provide any timelines that would illustrate our growing dependence on plastic and what a plastic - free world would look like.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The lesson provides data regarding plastic production and asks students to examine the data and make comparisons as to who is producing the plastics we use.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
An examination of the plastic crisis might have students look at the chemistry of plastics (Science), their role in the economy (Economics), their impact on the environment (Environmental Science, STEM), and human health (Health), the role and responsibility of citizens (Political Science, Citizenship Education). These issues are not addressed in this lesson but might be addressed in subsequent lessons located on the Green Learning website .
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are provided with data and asked to answer questions based on their examination of that data.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The lesson plan focuses exclusively on data analysis.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students deal with real data on an issue that is both serious and current.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Students work independently to complete worksheets in which they record plastic waste by sector, country and region. The concluding exercise may be completed individually or as a group activity.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
The worksheets completed by students offer material for assessment.
|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.
The study and analysis of the data on plastic production is a case study.
|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|
The lesson is directed, limited in its objectives and moves tightly through a series of steps. If students want to explore the plastic issue at a deeper level the Green Learning website provides resources with various learning and take action activities to offer a thorough learning experience.
|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.|