Activity Introduction

plastic-bottles-heroQuick summary: In this activity students will investigate the life cycle of a common piece of waste, something that we throw away so frequently we barely even notice it. Students will create a poster or computer based image around the process and present this to the class.

clean up logoFollowing this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Schools Clean Up Day. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.

 

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that even the most ordinary pieces of waste can have a very involved life cycle.
  • Students learn that we use a range of renewable and nonrenewable resources. 
  • Students take action to reduce their personal waste.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to confidently create, edit and publish written and multimodal texts (ACELY1728)

Year 7 Science:

  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)
  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)
  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)

Year 8 English

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to create, edit and publish texts imaginatively (ACELY1738)

Year 8 Science

  • Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial resource management (ACSHE136)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-11PW, SC4-13ES, SC4-9WS, SC4-12ESEN4-2A, EN4-4B

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – assist students in identifying life cycle processes.

Resources required: Pieces of waste (students select their own – safe and clean), Internet access.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Parts of this activity can be set as homework.

Safety: Students follow class waste safety code.

Keywords: Waste, life cycle, chocolate.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.   

 

Schools Clean Up Day

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Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

batteries-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: In this activity students will investigate the life cycle of a common piece of waste, something that we throw away so frequently we barely even notice it. Students will create a poster or computer based image around the process and present this to the class.

Teacher content information: Biodegradation times depend on the environmental conditions. Materials will break down faster when exposed to the elements (sunlight, heat, rain, etc) and decomposers (fungi, bacteria, insects and other invertebrates). Landfills are not ideal environments for decomposition, so trash in landfills takes much longer to break down.

Print a copy of each waste flashcard, sticking the two sides of the card together so that the breakdown rate corresponds to the correct waste type. The breakdown rates for the flashcards are as follows:

  • Banana - 3-4 weeks
  • Tin cans - 200-500 years
  • Plastic rings from six pack - 450 years
  • Sock - 1 year
  • Leather boot - 40-50 yea
...
 
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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What is the life cycle of a piece of rubbish?

Step 1: Bring to class a piece of waste (preferably clean) that you recently planned to throw in a bin. This piece of waste could be anything, but should be clean and safe e.g. an apple core, a chip packet, a plastic bag from a loaf of bread or the packaging of a packet of biscuits.

Step 2: Examine your waste and try to imagine its life cycle.  For example, the life cycle of a piece of a chocolate bar in a wrapper could potentially go as follows:

  1. A cocoa farmer grows cocoa trees on their plantations, collecting cocoa beans for export.
  2. The beans are exported via land and sea freight, using a variety of fuels and transport methods to get to the processing factory.
  3. At the factory the seeds are cleaned, processed and turned into cocoa powder.
  4. The cocoa powder is combined with other ingredients, including sugar, preservatives, nuts, fats, salt, dairy products, flavours and additives.
  5. The chocolate is cooked and then mou
...
 
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