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The Oceans-Global Garbage

Elementary, Middle

Description

This resource focuses on how the oceans are polluted.  Through selected readings and discussion, students identify types of pollution, determine the effects these pollutants have on the ocean and brainstorm alternative approaches that will reduce or eliminate the damage.  Afterwards students work with partners in a cooperative learning activity to create a draft "Ocean Protection Policy".

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource teaches the students to:

  • Problem solve
  • Identify sources of pollution

Strengths

  • ·         All materials are provided
  • ·         Lesson extension activities ideas are provided
  • ·         Internet links suggested

Weaknesses

  • no assessment tools provided
  • the need for more activities to encourage cooperative and experiential learning

Relevant Curriculum Units

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Manitoba
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      • Science
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        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
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        • Water Systems on Earth
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        • Interaction of Ecosystems
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        • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Nova Scotia
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        • Science 7: Environmental Action
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 7
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      • Geography
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        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
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        • Interactions in the Environment
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        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
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        • Canada: Resources and Wealth
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        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Interdependence
  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Aquaculture
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Fisheries
  • Waste Management (1)

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

    • Marine Environments

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
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

The resource does address the both the positive and negative aspects of what is occurring in the oceans.  The fact sheet provides a lot of information regarding the different dimensions for the students to consider.

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 Satisfactory

The fact sheet that accompanies the resource does a good of providing information necessary for a discussion of the interconnectedness of the oceans.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

The final activity in the lesson is for the students to draft an ocean protection policy which allows them to apply the knowledge that has been gained in the lesson.

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

The students do have one key opportunity to express their values with the creation of the draft ocean protection policy that they create.

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 the focus of this lesson.

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

The resource does not provide an opportunity for experiences outside of the classroom.  It does, however, teach an appreciaton of the oceans and our need to protect them.

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 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 Satisfactory

Although the fact sheet gives an abundance of important information, it is very bleak in its outlook.

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
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The resource does not intentionally blur the lines between subjects.  However it does offer an opportunity to blend a few subjects into one topic.

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 Satisfactory

The students are able to choose their own direction with the activity of filling in the table and they are given a wide berth for choosing solutions.

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 Satisfactory

There are no suggestions for the accomodations for students who may struggle with the material. 

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 Satisfactory
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 Satisfactory

There is a list of suggestions for student assessment but there are no tools or rubrics included. 

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 Satisfactory

Although it is not technically a case study, the information presented in the fact sheet gives information on the current status of the world's oceans.

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

The students are given limited choice with respect to the pollutants they wish to focus on.

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.