Trash Talkin'
Sep 09 2011
TeachEngineeringDigitalLibrary's picture
Source: TeachEngineerin...
Summary Information


trash, garbage, solid waste, recyclable, non-recyclable, recycle, reusable, dump
Earth Science
Workplace Skills: 
Raising Questions
Problem Solving
Secondary Research
Use of Data
Recording & Reporting

Estimated Time Required:

1-2 hours

Target Grade (Ages):

Grade 5 (Ages 10-11)

Diversity Indicators:

All learners

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Your Rating: 
Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)


ElizMul07's picture

March 14, 2012 - 9:17am

Interesting Lesson

This is a great idea! I have found that most students have no idea just how much trash they go through on a daily basis. They do not care very much about it and some still throw their litter on the ground no matter how many times I have told them not to, which drives me Nuts!!! A lesson like this shows them just how much they are going through and all the different types of trash that they go through as well as the effect it has on the environment. The Talkin' trash worksheet activity is a clear way to show the data that has been collected and to then help them to analyze that data. This is a great STEM lesson as it is very hands on and incorporates each element of STEM in some way. I think students would have fun collecting the garbage throughout the week and they would get really into it, they will probably be surprised just how much they are going through in just 1 week. Hopefully, that will make them think twice about trash and just how much they are creating.
johannaj76's picture

May 19, 2012 - 11:09am

Interdisciplinary Connections

I loved this lesson. I used it as a catalyst to further spark my students' interest in community service and environmental issues. Having the students complete the writing project at the end of this lesson helped to make their writing pieces more meaningful.
jillfonda's picture

May 19, 2012 - 1:33pm

Persuasive Writing Assessment

Writing across the curriculum is so important, and your persuasive writing assessment really inspires me to incorporate more writing into my chemistry curriculum. I imagine that your assessment, in particular, is very engaging for your students, and it gives them an opportunity to connect to their community using their newfound knowledge.
thegoodshep's picture

May 19, 2012 - 1:35pm

Recommended Reading

The list of recommended reading is really great. Thanks for this!
thegoodshep's picture

May 19, 2012 - 1:35pm

Recommended Reading

The list of recommended reading is really great. Thanks for this!
Karen2012's picture

May 19, 2012 - 4:25pm

rubrics for the persuasive essay

The rubrics are very clear and specific. i especially like the use of the pronoun 'i" It really focuses the student's attention to what they are doing or what they should be doing. I also like the comments section on the bottom. I wonder if it would instead be better to have that section on the right side or on the top so that the eye catches it quicker?
thomasmcmanus's picture

May 20, 2012 - 6:40pm

Persuasive Writing Rubric

Excellent literacy component. There is a need to emphasize nonfiction writing. I especially enjoyed the comment section on the rubrics.
Kelishs's picture

February 12, 2013 - 11:34pm

I implemented this lesson to

Trash Talking I implemented this lesson to a group of fourth grade girls who had experiences with inquiry, whether it was guided or full inquiry. Overall the lesson was engaging and effective at many levels, and the objectives were met. What was effective about the lesson? The lesson's format, organization and the sequence. What was needed to enhance the lesson? Opening activator: video clip on where garbage go, an opportunity for the students to decide how to record the sorted trash, and a section or area where the students can write questions they generated as they experience the lesson. During the lesson, the students sorted trash and through discussion talked about what was recyclable and what was not. Then, they determined what could be recycled and what could be reused. At the end of the lesson, all the groups agreed that there was a need to begin a campaign of educating their peers on recycling. Tips for implementation: if your students have not have a lot of experiences weighing objects or trash using a scale, you may want to front load them with a mini-lesson on scale use and data recording. Another tip, show the students images of trash and population and what happens to animals, plants, or people when there is an abundance of trash as an activator for a turn and talk discussion point. Last tip, provide several opportunities to plan, design, and implement a recycling campaign as an extension to the lesson.