Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson students are introduced to the topics of plastic and plastic waste. They begin by identifying the composition of a range of different everyday objects before focusing on plastic and the places that plastic is used in the classroom. Students are then introduced to the topic of plastic waste by participating in a guided discussion around a clip from the War On Waste series. Finally, students are asked to create an artwork around plastic waste.

Cool Australia’s War On Waste lessons have been developed in partnership with Lune Media and with support from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. These lessons have been designed to lead students through a deeper understanding of some of the big issues relating to waste in Australia and to support them to take action to reduce the impact of waste on our environment. To access the full War On Waste unit for Foundation to Year 3, click here.

Learning intentions:

  • Students recognise that plastic comes in many different forms and has many different uses
  • Students understand that plastic waste can have a big impact on our environment.

21st century skills: 

 CommunicatingCritical Thinking

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Foundation Science

  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
  • Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE013)
  • Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)

Year 1 Science

  • Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018)
  • Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS029)

Year 2 Science

  • Different materials can be combined for a particular purpose (ACSSU031)
  • Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS042)

Year 3 Science

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)
  • Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings using formal and informal representations (ACSIS060)

Syllabus outcomes: STe-9ME, STe-4WS, ST1-12MW, ST1-4WS, ST2-11LW, ST2-4WS.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Foundation Science achievement standards: Students describe the properties and behaviour of familiar objects, and share and reflect on observations.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science achievement standards: Students describe objects and events that they encounter in their everyday lives, and sort their observations and share them with others.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science achievement standards: Students identify that certain materials and resources have different uses, and communicate ideas in a variety of ways.

Relevant parts of Year 3 Science achievement standards: Students describe how they can use science to respond to questions and they communicate their ideas.

Topic: Waste, sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: War On Waste – Foundation to Year 3.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate guided discussion and lead students in activities.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class

Keywords: War On Waste, plastic waste, decomposition, environment.

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…

  • … recognise that plastic comes in many different forms and has many different uses
  • … understand that plastic waste can have a big impact on our environment.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify and sort a range of materials based on their composition
  • … think critically about the impact of plastic waste on marine environments
  • … communicate findings in a range of ways
  • … work independently and collaboratively
  • … participate in class and group discussions.

Teacher content information: In Australia, we began addressing the issue of waste in the 1960s and '70s with litter campaigns like Keep Australia Beautiful and Tidy Town Awards. With such a long history of waste reduction campaigns, you would think we had got on top of the waste issue; however, as the recent recycling crisis shows, we're still trying to solve the issue of waste in Australia.

Why is this the case? War On Waste, highlighted the confusi

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