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The Plastic We Eat is the third resource from 10 000 Changes in which students will discuss what they eat, where their food comes from, and how that food is transported from the source to their homes. Through a series of activities, the resource aims to teach students how to decrease their use of products containing microplastics and to help make a difference in preserving the environment.
Students will complete a list of food that they have consumed over a week and then use grocery flyers to determine where the food comes from. They will place images of the food on a world map with a string linking it to their hometown. The students will then discuss how plastics play a role in the transportation of food items. Afterwards, the students will watch the video "How Much Plastic Are We Eating?" and explore the infographic to learn more about how plastics and microplastics affect the food we eat. Next, the students will walk around their school and create an action plan and timeline for ways to cut down on plastic consumption. The students will then prepare a short presentation for the school principal to discuss their action plan and how they can turn it into a reality. As a culminating activity, the students will discuss ways to take action on plastics and select one action item for their classroom, school or community.
Link to lesson plan video
Link to lesson plan infographic
This lesson could be used as a stand alone resource in the Science or Social Studies classroom to introduce students to the concept of microplastics. It could also be used in conjunction with the other learning packages offered by 10 000 Changes as a unit of study.
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
Students explore ways plastics are connected to the food that they eat and discover the association between microplastics and food.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The video and infographic show the complexity of microplastics in our food.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
As the final activity for the lesson, the students will choose one action item for their classroom, school or community and make a plan for ways to reduce the use of plastic.
|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
Throughout the activities the students are given opportunities to discuss the issues of plastics and at the end of the lesson they are given an opportunity to act on their ideas.
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
This is not a focus for this resource.
|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
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The plan that the students will create has a focus on their classroom, their school or their community with a goal of reducing the amount of plastic used.
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
The resource does a good job of creating a sense of the present and a positive vision for the future but the teacher will have to develop an understanding of the past with the class.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
The activities allow the students to explore the topic of plastics and their food by the discussion of open ended discussion questions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
There are no suggestions for students who may experience difficulties with the material.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
After examining their habits with regards to food and plastics, the students conduct an audit of the school and create a plan focusing on reducing the plastic consumed.
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
There are some suggestions made for assessment of student learning but there are no concrete tools that the teacher can use.
|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.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
This is not included in this resource.
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
There is limited choice within the activities of this resource.
|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.