Quick summary: In this simple experiment the class will have the chance to study the different ways that waste materials break down. The class will bury a variety of ‘waste’ materials and dig them up at regular intervals to see how they are breaking down. This activity can be extended over several weeks or months, with the class revisiting the waste materials each week and recording their findings.
Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Schools Clean Up Day or a Clean Up on any day of the year. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.
- Students determine how different types of waste take different amounts of time to break down
- Students take responsibility for their own waste
- Students learn scientific observation skills.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
- Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
- Daily and seasonal changes in our environment, including the weather, affect everyday life (ACSSU004)
- Respond to questions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS014)
- Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
- Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)
- Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
Syllabus outcomes: STe-4WS, STe-9ME, STe-7NE.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.8.
Topic: Clean Up, Waste.
Time required: 60 mins to setup then ongoing to collect results
- Burial site for waste
- Digging tools
- Different types of waste (glad-wrap, plastic bags, milk bottles and water bottles)
- Gloves for teacher and students to avoid contact with waste
- Printed Student Worksheet for recording waste
- Waste breakdown flashcards.
Keywords: Waste, burial, plastic, food, resources, energy, waste.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.