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Ocean Trash Talk

Secondary, Middle

Description

Ocean Trash Talk is a one lesson resource that helps introduce the problem of plastic in the oceans. During this lesson, students will be able to identify ways that our use of plastic is harming the ocean and will be able to brainstorm and complete specific actions to address the problem.

The lesson starts with students discussing their use of plastic items. They will then discover how plastic litter ends up in the oceans. Following these discussions, students will brainstorm how plastics hurt the ocean and watch a video on the topic. In groups, students will then brainstorm ideas on how to reduce plastic pollution as individuals, at home, and at school. Students will then come up with an action project idea to help with the problem. 

As an extension to this activity, students would continue working on their action project idea over multiple classes.  

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource teaches students how to analyze their plastic consumption.

Strengths

  • This resource has a ready to use teacher guide with outcomes clearly stated and the lesson is well explained. 
  • The lesson has a variety of learning situations that is excellent for all learning types. 
  • Extension activities are included.
  • Background information is provided for teachers, as well as links to other curriculum resources related to the problem.
  • Formative assessment ideas are explained in the resource
  • An action project is the goal of this resource

Weaknesses

  • No summative assessments are provided in this resource
  • Activities for learners with difficulties are not included

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be excellent when discussing ecosystems or how humans behaviors can affect our world.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 8
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Core
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
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        • Biological Diversity
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Biological Diversity (Social and Environmental Contexts Emphasis)
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        • Science 10-4 (Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Environmental Systems
        • Science 14:Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
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      • Biology
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        • Biology 20: Ecosystems and Population Change
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        • Biology 30: Population and Community Dynamics
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        • Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them.
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        • Environmental Science 11: Changing ecosystems are maintained by natural processes.
        • Environmental Science 11: Complex roles and relationships contribute to diversity of ecosystems
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        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
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        • Environmental Science 12: Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
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        • Senior 2 Science: Dynamics of Ecosystems
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        • Biology: Conservation of Biodiversity
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        • Biology 11: Biodiversity
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        • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
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        • Science 1206: Sustainability of Ecosystems
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        • Science 2200: Ecosytems
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        • Experiential Science 10, Terrestial Systems: Resource Management and Population Dynamics
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        • Science 14:Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
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        • Biology 20: Ecosystems and Population Change
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        • Biology 30: Population and Community Dynamics
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
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        • AP Environmental Science: Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution
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        • Interactions in Our Environment
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        • Biological Diversity
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      • Science
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        • Experiential Science 10, Terrestial Systems: Resource Management and Population Dynamics
        • Science 10-4 (Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Environmental Systems
        • Science 14: Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
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      • Biology
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        • Biology 20: Ecosystems and Population Change
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        • Experiential Science 20, Marine Systems: Habitats, Population Dynamics and Management
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        • Biologie 30 :Population and Community Dynamics
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        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
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        • Science 431A: Life Science, Sustainability of Ecosystems
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        • Biology 521A: Biodiversity
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
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        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them.
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11: Changing ecosystems are maintained by natural processes.
        • Environmental Science 11: Complex roles and relationships contribute to diversity of ecosystems
        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Biodiversity
    • Habitat Loss
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Water (1)

    • Marine Environments

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Throughout the varied activities provided by this resource, students will get the chance to discover and form opinions on plastics in the oceans. 

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

While discussing plastic in the oceans, student discover how the three dimensions of this problem are connected.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

This lesson has for a goal that students come up with their own action project to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean. They would then commit to their action project over time in the extension of this activity. 

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

This resource provides ample opportunities for students to form and discuss their own opinions on the problem of plastic in the ocean. 

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this lesson.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good

This resource has students thinking about the oceans and how they are impacted by human behavior. 

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

The focus of this lesson is the oceans. However, regardless of where a student lives, thy are trying to reduce the amount of plastic that they are using therefore this lesson is locally focused.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Very Good

Throughout this resource, students get a chance to discover where the plastic that resides in the ocean came from, why it is now a problem and look at how to fix it with their future actions. 

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Throughout this resource, students are asked to share their opinion and beliefs on the subject 

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory

In this lesson, students are provided with the problem of plastic in the oceans and try to come up with a way to help solve it through an action project. 

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

This lesson includes a wide variety of activities that addresses the needs of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. However, no strategies for learners with difficulties are provided.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

The lesson is based on the real world problem of plastic in the oceans. 

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students will work in groups during this lesson.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

This lesson has an exit slip idea provided for a formative assessment option. As well, if the extension activities are used, a summative assessment idea is provided. 

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good

Students are encouraged to share their ideas for action with their peers, family and community.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

Students will investigate the problem of plastic in oceans and discover how the plastic makes it way to the oceans. This is an authentic problem in our world today. 

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Very Good
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.