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Little Landfill

Authored by EcoRise and Representaciones e Inteligencia Sustentable

115 minutes
Two 40-minute sessions plus five minutes per day for five days and one final 10-minute discussion
Primary subjects: 
Civics and Government, Science
Grade: 
3, 4
4.5
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
About

In this lesson, students learn that waste does not just go away after it is thrown in a trash can; it ends up in a landfill or a dump, or it is burned. Each of these systems solves the problem of getting the waste out of sight, but each also creates new problems along the way. As a result, many communities are adopting a zero-waste vision for the future, which involves rethinking how much waste we create and what happens to it. Students explore these concepts and how waste is handled differently in different places. Then they conduct a scientific simulation of a landfill to answer this question: Which kind of waste lasts longer in a landfill—organic waste or inorganic waste?

Key objectives for students
Describe three examples of where waste goes in communities around the world (landfills, dumps, incineration).
Describe three concerns about our current waste production habits.
Explain why zero waste is a goal for the future.
Explain whether organic or inorganic wastes last longer in a landfill, and why.
Secondary subjects
Arts, Environmental Education, Mathematics, Music, Reading or Language Arts
Topics
Trash, garbage, Waste, rubbish, landfills, Dump sites, Air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, organic, inorganic, Biodegradable, Decompose, rot, waste management, scientific method
Skills
Collaboration, Communication skills, Critical Thinking, Systems thinking
Values
Curiosity, Empathy, Mindfulness, Optimism, Resilience
Methods
Brain-Based Learning, Multi-Disciplinary, Multiple Intelligences, Project-Based Learning, Real-World Application
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