Managing Solid Waste

This Managing Solid Waste lesson plan also includes:

When Earth Day rolls around, a lot of kids ask why recycling is so important. Middle schoolers find out their own answers by examining 10 ordinary household items, working in a group to estimate how long it would take for each to break down in a landfill, then comparing their estimates to the actual decomposition time. Next, kids examine each of the three Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle — and think about what they could do to minimize their contributions to the local landfill. Finally, each child writes a letter to the editor of the local newspaper about the issue of landfills, which must include certain vocabulary words that have been emphasized throughout the instructional activity.

90 Views 59 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable

  • Multi-modal approach to the issue of waste, including higher-level thinking activities
  • Using the local landfill's information makes the learning very relevant
  • Having learners write a letter to the editor prepares them for social action and shows that, even as middle schoolers, they can have a say in local issues

  • Created for Tucson, AZ, so if you are located anywhere else, you will need to adapt this to represent your local landfill