Whose Garbage is It?

7th - 10th

Two news articles are read by class members regarding the excess of garbage in Toronto, Canada. As small groups, they take sides about how to handle the trash, conduct internet research, and then select a representative to act on their behalf in a classroom debate. The lesson plan is brief, but contains poignant questions for learners to consider. Use this lesson when studying pollution or human impact on the environment.

Resource Details

Life Science
Instructional Design
Collaborative Learning
2 days

The Trash We Pass

Where does our garbage go? What is the difference between a recyclable and non-recyclable item? Pose these important, but often overlooked, questions to your class and invite them to consider the lasting and damaging effects of the simple action of throwing trash away. You can incorporate this lesson plan into a variety of grade levels and subject areas, especially around Earth Day.

Carbon Dioxide & Krill: Impacts

What effects do temperature and carbon dioxide levels have on the zooplankton of Antarctica? This concluding lesson in a short unit on climate change and the ocean helps environmental scientists answer these questions. After learning about current Antarctic research through the provided slide show, lab groups perform an experiment to see if brine shrimp respond to changes in their environments. While data charts and analysis questions are provided for the lab, there are no printed materials lists or procedures. Have learners write their own complete lab reports to turn in.

Introduction to Saline Environments & Microbial Halophiles

If you do not mind wading through unrelated headings (This is not for a physics or STEM course, as it states.) and content (The lesson opens with an article about neurology, not halophiles.), then you will find a valuable resource on salt-loving microorganisms. A PowerPoint presentation introduces viewers to high salt environments, human impact on them, and what we might learn from the extremophiles that thrive in such places. A note-taking page, links to related articles, and a couple of fun extension activities are suggested. Enrich your microbiology unit with this resource!

Lesson Plan: Humans and the Land

Art acts as inspiration for a conversation about human impact on the environment and creative writing. The class examines three pieces, looking for evidence of human impact on the landscape. They then write a first-person narrative, from the perspective of a human from the past. Pupils explore feelings of change, as their narrative describes what life in the altered modern landscape is like. 

Closing the Loop: A Game about Trash

Dice and playing cards are used to play a "resourceful" board game! Correct answers to questions on the cards get garbage to be reused, recycled, or composted, while incorrect answers get garbage sent to the landfill. Landfill points are negative, while the others all earn positive scores. Questions are thought-provoking and can be used to help address Next Generation Science Standards in earth science. 

Everybody Needs a Clean Environment

Eighth graders work in small groups and research ways to reduce human impact on the environment. They create a PowerPoint based on the book Everybody Needs a Clean Environment. They demonstrate ten rules to prevent greater environmental destruction.

Earth: Land Use Picture Project

High schoolers explore how changes in human land use are impacting local environments. They also explore some of the social impacts of various land uses in their area. They identify and discuss some social impacts of the different land uses.

Talkin' Trash

Use these lesson plans to illustrate the effects of trash on our environment and the ways in which we dispose of it.

The Impacts of Human Activities on Biodiversity in New Haven County

Students discover how plants and animal ecosystems are affected by the growth of a city. In this ecology lesson, students study and observe a plant over a period of time. They develop a creative presentation of their data and share them with the class.

Human Health

Eighth graders explore human health by researching a specific genetic disorder. In this illness presentation lesson, 8th graders must research a genetic disorder topic using the Internet and medical help before creating a video or poster presentation. Students create their presentations over 4 days while collaborating in groups.

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