Activity Introduction

tomato-heroQuick summary: In this activity students look at waste and the time it takes to decompose. Students are asked to order a selection of waste materials into the time it takes for them to break down. In the closing activity, they will act as archeologists undertaking a dig of a kitchen 100 years in the future and are asked to describe the condition of the items that they find.

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 raise their awareness of the rate of waste material breakdown and how this can take many, many years.
  • Students build an understanding of the differences between biodegradable and non-biodegradable items.
  • Students take responsibility for their own waste footprint.

Australian Curriculum content description:

This lesson can be adapted by teachers to meet all levels of the Australian Curriculum

Time required: 60 mins

Resources required: Waste breakdown flashcards, drawing materials or modelling clay.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Get students to make a list of biodegradable and non-biodegradable items.

Keywords: Litter, waste, breakdown, decomposition.

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

clean up logo

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

rubbish-bags-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: In this activity, students look at waste and the time frame it takes to decompose. Students are asked to order a selection of waste materials into the time it takes for them to break down. In the closing activity, they will act as archeologists undertaking a dig of a kitchen 100 years in the future and are asked to describe the condition of the items that they find.

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 breakdown flashcards, 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:

  • Bana
...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.