Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity, students examine and weigh the waste that has been collected over one week from the teacher’s household. They will also bring to class one item of packaging that they think is excessive. Students will then be asked to think critically about the amount of packaging that is used to wrap the things we use every day, and to think creatively about how this packaging could be reused. This activity is in two parts and requires some preparation to collect one week’s worth of rubbish and examples of excessive packaging.

Learning goals:

  • Students learn that we create a lot of waste in our daily lives.
  • Students understand that we can recycle much of this waste.
  • Students understand that we can think carefully about what we buy so that we aren’t contributing unnecessarily to the waste problem.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Investigate, interpret and analyse graphs from authentic data (ACMNA180)

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)

Year 8 Mathematics

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for area and volume and convert from one unit to another (ACMMG195)

Year 8 Science

  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS145)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-5WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-7WS, SC4-12ES

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – collect waste items, assist students in activity.

Resources required: Waste items for one week (teacher to collect), large buckets, plastic bags, scales, writing materials, graph paper, and art and craft materials. Access to the Internet

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity requires involvement from students prior to class time activity and has opportunities for homework.

Safety: The teacher should ensure that all items used in the activity are clean and safe. Students sorting waste should use gloves and tongs.

Keywords: Waste, recycling, packaging, home, weight.

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

 

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: In this activity, students examine and weigh the waste that has been collected over one week from the teacher’s household. They will also bring to class one item of packaging that they think is excessive. Students will then be asked to think critically about the amount of packaging that is used to wrap the things we use every day, and to think creatively about how this packaging could be reused. This activity is in two parts and requires some preparation to collect one week's worth of rubbish and examples of excessive packaging.

Hot tips: As you are dealing with used safety is important so:

  • Rinse out any container (especially any with cleaners etc)
  • Don’t include any dirty or soiled items or any with sharp edges
  • For safety reasons, you might wish to exclude glass bottles and jars (you could instead weigh these at home and pass on this weight to the students)

Student and classroom organisation:

Introduction

Step 1. Prior to the

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: When you throw something 'away' - where is away?

Activity 1. Weighing in

Weigh the household waste and record your answers below.

Type of waste

Weight of this type (grams)

Recyclable metal

Non-recyclable metal

Recyclable plastic

Non-recyclable plastic

Recyclable paper and cardboard

Non-recyclable paper and cardboard

Rubbish

Total

 Graph your results.

 

Answer the following questions about the weight of the waste:

1. How much of the waste is recyclable? (expressed as a percent of the total weight)

 

2. How much of it is non-recyclable? (expressed as a percent of the total weight)

 

3. Of the waste that is non-recyclable, where does most of it come from? From food and drink packaging or from somewhere else?

 

4. Of the waste that is recyclable, where does most of it come from?

 

5. Were there any types of waste that you found difficult to

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