About Seesaw Sign Up

Teachers, save “Plastic recycling is not working well.” to assign it to your class.

The Carbon Almanac

Plastic recycling is not working well.

Grades: 4th Grade, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade
Subjects: Science

Student Instructions

Read pages 29-32 of the ebook: Generation Carbon: It's time to start at: www.thecarbonalmanac.org/kids Using the drawing tool :draw a landfill containing old toys, rotten food, and lots of plastic junk. Using the blog tool blog write a sentence explaining what's in your drawing of a landfill. Even plastic things we put into a recycling bin mostly end up in a landfill because plastic is so hard to recycle. Did you know that out of 100 plastic things you put in a recycling bin, only about 9 pieces of plastic actually get recycled? The rest end up in landfills or getting burned. The more plastic in landfills, the more methane gas escapes and the more our Earth warms up. This is what is known as global warming. Our warmer Earth is causing floods, heat waves and really large storms. This is what we call "climate change." Using the microphone tool mic explain what plastic things you can stop using to stop even more plastic waste from filling up our oceans and landfills. Using the microphone tool mic explain what new rules you could post your classroom or at school to prevent plastic waste. For example, could you ask the cafeteria workers to put the plastic straws behind the counter so not everyone takes one? Using the microphone tool mic explain why it's bad for our Earth that plastic ends up in a landfill. Using the microphone tool mic let us know who you will tell about what you learned today. Lots of adults don't know this so be sure to tell them.

Teacher Notes (not visible to students)

This activity is designed to get students thinking about how plastic affects our Earth and promotes climate change. It also aims to get kids to think about how they might affect the systems around them that make plastics seem "normal." For example, what if they got their whole soccer league to ban disposable plastic bottles? This would save thousands of plastic water bottles. To stem climate change, huge systems all around us need to change. Kids are used to thinking on an individual level ("I will bring my disposable water bottle to school"), but if we are going to move the needle on climate change, we need them to think about changing the systems around them ("Let's see if we can take 2 months to fill up our classroom recycling bin with plastic bottles." Materials are from The Carbon Alamanac's free Kids' Edition. For more free climate change teaching resources, see the resources below: - To learn more about The Carbon Almanac visit: https://thecarbonalmanac.org - To learn more about the free kids' ebook visit: https://thecarbonalmanac.org/kids- To learn more about the free educator's guide (featuring full lesson plans) visit: https://thecarbonalmanac.org/177/