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 Designs
Collaborative Learning
2 days

Worksheet: Environments of Past and Present

After reading about how polar bears and camels are specifically adapted to their environments, young zoologists choose an animal and do the same. They work in groups to discuss how humans interact with their surroundings and then design a poster about possible problems caused by our activities that impact the environment. There is a third activity on this handout that relates to a field trip, but it is conveniently placed on a new page and therefore easily left out if you do not live near the West Coast Fossil Park in South Africa!

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.

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 activity 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. 

Talkin' Trash

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

Human Health

Eighth graders explore human health by researching a specific genetic disorder. In this illness presentation instructional activity, 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.

Mappler Project Lesson Plan: Humans and the Environment

Focus on human interaction with the environment. Learners describe how human activities affect a variety of ecosystems, map local environmental friends and foes on a Mappler page, and discuss how people have worked to solve challenges. As a final project, they create a PowerPoint.

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.

Land Development and the Environment

Young scholars examine the relationship between land development and the environment. In this environmental stewardship lesson, students explore how population density, land development, transportation, and impervious surfaces take their toll on the environment.

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