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Treat it Right!® Wastewater

Elementary

Description

In Treat It Right! Wastewater students are challenged to think about how to change their actions and those of their families to protect the environment by learning about what to flush and dump down the drain. Students learn how water is managed and treated in the City of Edmonton. The concepts are explored through a series of lessons which inform the students how to take personal action by identifying ways that they and their families can take to minimize their negative impact on wastewater.  

Students will:

  • calculate the amount of wastewater each resident produces each day 
  • create a board game using what they have learned about the proper treatment of wastewater. 
  • complete a waterwaste survey about what happens in their homes and create an improvement plan
  • calculate how far the wastewater travels from school to the water treatment plant.
  • learn about choices they can make for the good of the environment 
  • create their own water waste word search 
  • make up some natural cleaners to take home or to use in the classroom using the recipes provided

The resource contains a teacher’s guide complete with duplicating masters and an evaluation.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Identifying biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials to keep drainage systems safe.
  • Recipes for natural cleaners to be used at home and at school.

Strengths

  • Each lesson plan provides the objectives, materials as well as informative teacher background information. 
  • Although the resource pertains to the city of Edmonton, it can easily be adapted to any city.
  • The readings are age-appropriate and very informative.
  • Contact information provided to clarify any questions or concerns.
  • The package is up-to-date and easy to use.
  • The activities are age-appropriate and can be adapted to other grade levels.

Weaknesses

  • No assessment rubrics or self-assessment opportunities for students.
  • No adaptations for students with special needs or physical disabilities.
  • No outdoor experiences

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Water (2)

    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • The resource objectively presents the environmental impacts of water waste.
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
  • environmental
  • health
  • social
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 Good
  • The resource promotes dialogue and exploration about biodegradable items which enter the drainage system.
  • Students learn about choices they can make and how they can help their families change their behaviours for the good of the environment.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Good
  • Develop a family plan to make positive changes in their behaviours for the good of the environment.
  • Students mix up some natural cleaners using the recipes provided to be used at home and at school.

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 Poor/Not considered
  • Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • Not an aspect of 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 Poor/Not considered
  • No outdoor activities are suggested.
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 Very 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 Good
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 Good

The lesson plans include:

  • research activities
  • brainstorming
  • identifying actions to promote change
  • creating helpful and harmful action cards
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
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 Good

Students get to discover and build knowledge through:

  • identifying actions that their families can take to minimize their negative impact on water waste.
  • identifying biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials
  • researching some of the ways that waste water has been managed historically in Edmonton and other countries.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • No adaptations or accommodations are suggested.
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 Good
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
  • Students work in groups to create a board game.
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
  • Students create a board game with helpful and harmful action cards which can be used as an assessment of the students’ learning.
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 Good
  • Students share the informative facts they learned at school to create an action plan with their family. 
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 Good
  • Students look at the way wastewater is managed and treated within the Edmonton community.

  • Students will have the opportunity to look at some of the ways that wastewater has been managed historically in Edmonton and in other countries.

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
  • Some extension activities are provided.
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.