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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Classifying Litter

Lesson Description:

this lesson actively engages students in identifying litter—picking it up, sorting it, and classifying it as paper, wood, fabric, metal, glass, or plastic.
Lesson Type:
  • Group Work
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Time Needed:
One to three class periods
Standards Addressed:
South carolina curriculum standards addressed
i. inquiry
a. process skills
1.a. use the senses to gather information about objects or events such as size, shape,
color, texture, sound, position, and change (qualitative observations).
2.a. compare, sort, and group concrete objects according to observable properties.

iv. physical science
a. properties of objects and materials
1.c. observe, classify, and describe objects made of different materials, such as, paper,
wood, fabric, and metal.

grade 1
iv. physical science
a. properties of objects and materials
2.b. sort objects and materials based on a single attribute.

social studies
iii. people, places, and environments: geography
k.8 the learner will demonstrate an understanding of interactions between the
environment and society.
k.8.2 name ways people change, care for, and endanger their environment
Materials Needed:
  • bags and gloves for each student to collect litter
  • six containers labeled “wood,” “paper,” “fabric,” “metal,” “glass,” and “plastic”
  • chart paper, poster paper, crayons

School or Group:
Greenville County Government Online
Contact Email:
Located in: Social Studies

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Center for Green Schools