Quick summary: Students examine the cause and size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They will compare the scale of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to places they are familiar with. They are then asked to create an infographic sharing the information they have found.
Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Zoos Victoria’s Seal the Loop program. You’ll be joining other amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.
- Students build an understanding of their personal impact on the planet by looking at how rubbish enters the marine environment.
- Students make comparisons between areas they know well and the estimated area of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
Australian Curriculum content description:
Year 5 Science:
- Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217)
- With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
- Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)
Year 5 Mathematics:
- Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACMMG113)
Year 6 Science:
- Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)
- With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS103)
- Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)
Year 6 Mathematics:
- Solve problems involving the comparison of lengths and areas using appropriate units (ACMMG137)
Syllabus Outcomes: ST3-6PW, ST3-4WS, MA3-10MG, MA3-17MG, MA3-9MG, MA3‑1WM, MA3‑2WM, MA3‑3WM.
Topic: Seal the Loop
Time required: 2 x 60 min lessons
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion.
Resources required: Printed copy of Great Pacific Garbage Patch worksheet for each student (you may need extra maps of Australia if you live in a small state or territory), Internet access, access to student worksheets.
Digital technology opportunities: Infographic creation (DIY infographic background information), digital sharing capabilities.
Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.
Keywords: Rubbish, waste, waste management, landfill, recycling, climate change, greenhouse gases, Pacific Ocean, Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.