Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This is a homework activity. Students will investigate the types and amounts of rubbish that they and their family produce over the course of one day. Students will use the worksheet to record their results and will share their results with the class. Activity adapted from Activate Your Students: An inquiry-based learning approach to sustainability.

 

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.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students learn that even over one day a family can produce quite a lot of waste
  • Students understand the Waste Hierarchy and how it can be used to help us reduce the amount of waste we create
  • Students recognise that much of the waste produced by their families can be recycled and saved from going to landfill.

21st century skills:

Community EngagementCritical Thinking

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 Mathematics

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for length, area, volume, capacity and mass  (ACMMG108)
  • Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118)
  • Construct displays, including column graphs, dot plots and tables, appropriate for data type, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP119)

Year 5 Science

  • Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS090)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS218)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

Year 6 Mathematics

  • Interpret and compare a range of data displays, including side-by-side column graphs for two categorical variables (ACMSP147)

Year 6 Science

  • Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS107)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS221)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Syllabus outcomes: MA3-10MG, MA3-18SP, ST3-4WS.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.8.

Topic: Waste, Clean Up.

Time required: 45 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – lead students in a class discussion on the results.

Resources required:

  • One copy of the Student Worksheet for each student
  • Each student will also need 6 containers and/or plastic bags to use at home and a set of kitchen or bathroom scales
  • Waste Hierarchy with Discussion Points.

Safety: Students develop a family Waste Safety Code.

Keywords: Waste, recycling, disposal, family, home.

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

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... learn that even over one day a family can produce quite a lot of waste
  • ... understand the Waste Hierarchy and how it can be used to help us reduce the amount of waste we create
  • ... recognise that much of the waste produced by their families can be recycled and saved from going to landfill.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ... work independently to calculate the amount of waste produced at home
  • ... know how the waste hierarchy can be used to understand what to do with waste and how to reduce it
  • ... analyse results to draw conclusions and make recommendations about how to reduce waste at home.

Teacher content information: In this activity students will be exploring waste and how to reduce the impact of waste on our environment. A useful tool to help you understand the actions you can take around waste could be the following waste hierarchy image (also available here):

  • Avoid - means to not do som
...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Who makes the most waste in your family?

Instructions for weighing your family's solid waste:

  1. Develop a family safety code to make sure you and your family stay safe when handling waste (there are some tips for developing a family safety code at the end of this worksheet).
  2. Set up six containers or plastic bags at home that are suitable for collecting different types of waste (glass, metal, paper and cardboard, plastic, organic matter, other).
  3. Weigh the six plastic bags and their bins and write the weights in the table.
  4. Ask each of your family members to place all their rubbish into the correct bins over the course of the day.
  5. At the end of the day, weigh the six plastic bags and their bins again (with their contents) and write these weights in the table below.

Tips for calculating the amounts of waste:

  • To calculate the weight of each type of waste, subtract the number in column 2 from the number in column 3.
  • To calculate the percentage of each typ
...
 
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