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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Reduce Your Trash

Lesson Description:
  • Explain the need to reduce the amount of trash they generate, and describe ways in which they can make changes in their actions to support waste reduction.
  • Measure and compare the weight of common objects using non-standard units of measure.
  • Collect, record, organize, and interpret data using a variety of graphic representations.
  • Analyze collected data and draw logical conclusions.
  • Use written and graphic representations to communicate their ideas and inform their audience about their actions to reduce waste.

Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Time Needed:
30-40 minutes per day for one week
Standards Addressed:
  • Technology Standard 3: Understand the relationship among science, technology, society and the individual.
    • Benchmark # 3: Know that man-made materials, products and systems can affect the environment adversely, yet there are things that can be done to circumvent this process (e.g., disposing of waste properly, reusing objects, recycling, reducing the amount of trash created, composting, shopping green, buying in bulk).
  • Science Standard 12: Understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
    • Benchmark # 1: Know learning can come from careful observation and simple experiments.
    • Benchmark # 2: Know that tools (e.g., scales) can be used to gather information and extend the senses.
  • Mathematics Standard 2: Understand and apply basic and advanced properties of the concepts of numbers.
    • Benchmark # 3: Understand symbolic, concrete, and pictorial representations of numbers.
    • Benchmark # 4: Understand basic whole number relationships (e.g., 4 is less than ten).
  • Mathematics Standard 3: Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation.
    • Benchmark # 1: Adds and subtracts whole numbers.
    • Benchmark # 2: Solve real world problems involving addition and subtraction of whole numbers.
  • Mathematics Standard 6: Understand and apply the basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis.
    • Benchmark # 1: Collect and represent information about objects or events in simple graphs (e.g., tally charts, pictographs).
  • Language Arts Standard 1: Use the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
    • Benchmark # 7: Write in a variety of forms and genres (e.g., journals).
    • Benchmark # 8: Write for different purposes (to inform, communicate ideas).
  • Language Arts Standard 8: Use listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.
    • Benchmark # 1: Make contributions in class and group discussions.
    • Benchmark # 2: Ask and respond to questions.
    • Benchmark # 5: Use grade level appropriate vocabulary in speech (e.g., terms related to waste reduction and recycling).

Materials Needed:
  • Large, clear plastic trash bags
  • Balance scale, large enough to accommodate the full trash bag
  • A pile of books that weighs the same as the heaviest bag of trash
  • Two recycling bins-one for paper, one for other recyclables
  • Chart paper
  • Poster markers
  • Paper, pencils and crayons
  • Copy of the book “Why Should I Recycle?” by Jen Green
  • Copies of the Letter to Parents provided

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
service@greeneducationfoundation.org
Located in: Science | Math | Language Arts

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools