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Plastic waste management and diversion is a critical issue as it ensures that plastic waste does not end up in the environment. Inadequate waste management over the decades has led to the massive problem of plastic waste polluting our oceans, land and air. While the world comes together to clean up the environment by reclaiming plastic waste, municipalities around the world also need to focus on improving plastic waste management and diversion strategies to ensure plastic does not continue to enter the environment.
By the end of this activity, learners will:
The lesson consists of three steps:
Students practice those skills associated with
The resource may be used in combination with two other resources dealing with plastic waste and developed by Green Learning. The combination allows students to examine the sources of plastic waste, possible responses to eliminating plastic waste and innovative ways in which plastic can be utilized to make consumer goods.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
Students investigate best practices for waste management, evaluate each and assess the efforts of selected Canadian cities with respect to these practices.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Best practices for waste management are explored by categories that include using financial instruments, social awareness and action, and strategies for reuse and recycling.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Student investigation of the variety of tools employed to manage waste will help them appreciate the complexity of the issue.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Teachers may choose to add another step to the lesson by having students measure their communities against the best practices identified in their investigation and to lobby for those improvements they think would improve waste mangement in their schools and communities.
|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
There is no explicit direction that would have students link personal values and waste management but there is a natural link here that teachers might and should exploit.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
Part of the waste mangement story includes information about the "export" of our waste and the dangers to the health of the poor people who work in recovering something of economic value of that waste.
|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|
The information gained by students in examining the attached print and video resources may be expected to heighten their realization of the damage to the environment created by our waste.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students work in jigsaw groups to investigate the waste management policies and practices of four Canadian cities. While not included in the lesson plan, teachers may take the obvious next step, which would have students carry out a similar investigation of their schools and communities.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The lesson focuses on current best practices in waste management designed to move us to a zero waste future.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students examine the waste management practices in their assigned cities followed by a discussion of a number of open ended questions that allow them to debate the merits of various waste strategies.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Student investigation into waste management strategies will touch upon a number of subject areas including the financial considerations that must be factored into any movement to reduce or eliminate waste ( Economics); the responsibility and political will of the various levels of government to undertake the measures advocated (Political Science); civic responsibility ( Citizenship), issues related to biodegradables and toxic waste (Science); and the environmental impact of current and proposed management policies (Environmental Science, Sustainable Development).
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are asked to consider what may be done to address our current waste problems, provided with some examples of best practices and information about what some constituencies are doing, and asked to evaluate or take the measure of these strategies to address the issue.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The lesson adopts an instructional strategy that has students examine what might and what is being done to manage plastic waste and discuss and debate their findings.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students are dealing with a real world problem and are provided with information that outlines what can be done and what is being done to meet the challenge in a number of case studies.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
In step 3 of the lesson, students explore municipal plastic waste programs in selected Canadian cities. Jigsaw groups are arranged to undertake the investigation and students move about within the jigsaw to share information and understanding.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
The lesson concludes with a class discussion that is guided by a number of open - ended questions. Student response to these questions will provide a measurement of student understanding and their position on the issue of plastic waste.
|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.|
The jigsaw approach to investigating waste practices in selected cities will stimulate a sharing of information and insights among students.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Step 2 in the lesson plan introduces students to best practices observed by cities around the world to manage plastic waste, while step 3 has students explore municipal plastic waste programs in four Canadian cities.
|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||Satisfactory|
The lesson incorporates the elements of directed study. Students collect information about plastic waste, answer a number of related questions, and discuss and debate their findings. Other questions may arise but are not encouraged.
|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.|