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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

How Trash Becomes Litter

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:
  • Discussion
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Time Needed:
30 minutes
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).

Science Standard 10: Understand force and motion.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that the position of an object can be described by locating it relative to another object or the background.
  • Benchmark # 5: Know things move in many different ways (e.g., straight line, circular motion).

Science Standard 12: Understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know learning can come from careful observation and simple experiments.

Health Standard 2: Know environmental and external factors that affect individual and community health.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know the sources and causes of pollution in the community.

Language Arts Standard 2: Use stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing.
  • Benchmark # 1: Use descriptive words to convey basic ideas.
  • Benchmark # 2: Use declarative and interrogative sentences in written compositions.

Language Arts Standard 6: Use reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary text.
  • Benchmark # 1: Use reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of familiar literary passages and texts (e.g., picture books, predictable books,…).
  • Benchmark # 5: Relate stories to personal experiences.

Materials Needed:
  • Copy of “The Day the Trash Came Out to Play” by David Beadle
  • Copies of picture cards provided below
  • Grade appropriate writing paper
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Bulletin board similar to the sample shown in PDF below
  • Push pins

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Located in: Language Arts | Health | Science

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools