Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will create a presentation in which they consider concepts of personal responsibility and active citizenship as they relate to the litterbug. They will investigate the environmental and social impacts of littering.

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 the social implications of littering.
  • Students begin to take responsibility for unwanted food packaging.
  • Students will rethink the concept of why people litter.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 4 English:

  • Create literary texts by developing storylines, characters and settings (ACELT1794)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences (ACELY1689)
  • Create literary texts that explore students’ own experiences and imagining (ACELT1607)

Year 5 English:

  • Create literary texts using realistic and fantasy settings and characters that draw on the worlds represented in texts students have experienced (ACELT1612)
  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)
  • Understand the use of vocabulary to express greater precision of meaning, and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts (ACELA1512)

Year 6 English:

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)

Syllabus OutcomesEN2-10C, EN2-2A, EN2-6B, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-6B, EN3-7C

Topic: Solid waste

Time required: 60+ mins

Resources required: various props as required

Digital learning opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities:  Students have the opportunity to change the vocabulary in their presentation for a different target audience and present to junior classes OR Students can extend their presentations in include further impacts of litter.

Keywords: Food, packaging, waste, litter.

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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Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will work in groups to describe and explain how and why people litter. Students will understand the social implications of littering and rethink the concept of why people litter.

Teacher content information: To litter is to illegally dispose of waste, whether intentionally or by accident. In the past, it was legal to throw waste into the street.

This became a problem when people began living in close proximity as cities developed during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. Unsanitary disposal of waste encouraged the breeding of insects and rats that carried disease rapidly through the urban population. The government took action to remove rubbish from city streets to prevent the spread of disease.

Today, there are laws against littering in each State and Territory of Australia. The anti-litter laws not only protect us from the spread of disease, but also protect the environment and amenity.

What are the impacts of litterin...
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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: If you have littered before, why did you do it?

Fill in the table below.

Why do people litter?

How do people litter?

 Plan a scheme you would like to see put in place to help reduce littering.

There are many types of litterbugs in the world.

A study was completed by the Beverage Industry Environment Council, which gave names to these litterbugs. Read about some of them below.


How to spot a litterbug

 Foul Shooting Litterbug

Litter is thrown at a bin, it misses the bin and the person walks away

Clean Sweeping Litterbug

On arriving at a table where others have littered, waste is swept onto the ground.

Flagrant Flinging Litterbug

Litter is flung through the air or dropped without any apparent concern

90% Litterbug

Most of the rubbish is put into the bin, but some is left behind, or smaller items are dropped.

Wedging Litterbug


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