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Ashley Pasiciel

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Ashley Pasiciel

Unit Rationale
Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them. Science helps student
interpret the world and human how humans live. With the day and age we live in, it is essential
that students are aware of how our waste affects our planet. Waste goes beyond human
consumption; therefore, students will also learn about the wastes produced through nature
and its natural recycling processes. Many things are recycled through the environment
repeatedly, such as plants, animals and other living things – this helps make up the world
around us. This is an important unit for grade fours to study because students will be able to
identify wastes produced within their community. In addition, students will learn various ways
to recycle and dispose of the wastes humans create. These methods go beyond recycling paper
and cans, as we will discuss how some materials are biodegradable, some are reusable and
some are toxic. In addition, students will learn the proper ways to dispose various items, how to
put safe methods into practice at home and learn how these wastes affect our community.
Students will realize and learn that their personal action in reducing, reusing and recycling at
home or at school can decrease the waste we accumulate and help positively impact the
community. This unit will take approximately a month and a half, and as mentioned above
students will explore a variety of topics in relation to waste and our world.

Unit Organizer
Inquiry Question:
 How does the waste produced from our day to day activities impact the world around
us?

Related Questions:
 How does nature recycle? What happens to waste created by nature? What does it
mean to decompose?
 How can we reduce, reuse and recycle our various wastes? What is in our garbage that
could be recycled?
 What items are biodegradable? What does it mean to be biodegradable?
 What is a composter? How does a composter work?
 What are the 3 R’s? What does it mean to reduce, reuse and recycle?
 How can we reuse some of the items we already have?
 What do we recycle in our classroom?

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 What does ‘hazardous’ mean? Where would you find these types of items? How would
you dispose of them?
 What are some problems associated with the amount of waste we produce?
 Where can we take recyclable items in our community? How can we find this
information out?
 What is the difference between a landfill and a dump?
 How can we help our community be more ‘green’?
 What are some big topics in the news that relate to waste in our world? How can we
help save our oceans?
 How could you teach someone about how to help protect the world around us?

General Learning Expectations:


 4.1: Investigate the nature of things, demonstrating purposeful action that leads to
inferences supported by observations.
 4.2: Identify patterns and order in objects and events studied; and record observations,
using pictures, words and charts, with guidance in the construction of charts; and make
predictions and generalizations, based on observations.
 4.4: demonstrate positive attitudes for the study of science and for the application of
science in responsible ways.
 4.5: Recognize that human activity can lead to the production of wastes, and identify
alternatives for the responsible use and disposal of materials.

Specific Learning Expectations:


4.5: https://education.alberta.ca/media/159711/elemsci.pdf
1. Identify plant and animal wastes, and describe how they are recycled in nature.
2. Identify and classify wastes that result from human activity.
3. Describe alternative methods of disposal, and identify possible advantages and
disadvantages of each.
4. Distinguish between wastes that are readily biodegradable and those that are not.
5. Compare different kinds of packaging, and infer the relative advantages and
disadvantages of that packaging. In evaluating different forms of packaging, students
should demonstrate the ability to consider a consumer perspective as well as an
environment perspective.
6. Identify methods of waste disposal currently used within the local community.
7. Identify kinds of wastes that may be toxic to people within the local community.
8. Identify alternative materials and processes that may be decrease the amount of waste
produced.
9. Identify ways in which materials can be reused or recycled, including examples of things
that the student has done.
10. Develop a flow chart for a consumer product that indicates the source materials, final
product, its use and method of disposal.

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11. Identify actions that individuals and groups can take to minimize the production of
wastes, to recycle or reuse wastes and to ensure the safe handling and disposal of
wastes.
12. Develop and implement a plan to reduce waste, and monitor what happens over a
period of time.

Lesson Overview:
*1 Lesson = 30 minutes
Lesson 1: Introduction to Waste & Our World.
 Each student will be given 3 sticky notes. On each sticky note they will write down one
thing they throw out.
 On the front white board will be 3 columns titled – Compost, Recycling, Garbage. As a
class, we will sort through the items listed on the sticky notes and discuss which
section they would fit best in.
 Once student’s ideas are flowing, they can work on their unit title page for their
binders. (this will act as a sponge activity the first couple of classes if necessary)
Lesson 2: The Dirt on Decomposers: How Exactly Does Nature Recycle Organic Waste?
 YouTube: Crash Course Kids Video on how decomposers help the earth recycle organic
material.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB61rfeeAsM&index=2&list=PLB2nxXe1bhSTLF9
8fhfcOSsJ6h04Rll8K
 YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB61rfeeAsM&index=2&list=PLB2nxXe1bhSTLF9
8fhfcOSsJ6h04Rll8K
 Interactive Smartboard presentation – types of decomposers and types of plant matter
they break down. Ex// mold, fungi, insects, worms, microorganisms.
 Outline the decomposing process – students will complete a diagram of the process.
 “Types of Waste” Worksheet. – have student try to come up with examples not
discussed in class to further understanding.
Lesson 3: The Dirt on Decomposers
 Continuation of lesson 8.
 Depending on students understanding this may take another lesson to make it
concrete. *
Lesson 4: Organic Waste vs. Inorganic Waste: Is it Biodegradable?
 Show YouTube video: “What Materials Biodegrade?” aka decompose.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4tEbAm3cCA&index=6&list=PLgVnXuJnaKvZjKEs
2KwlDbQLJmz9FnJIi
 Pause video at approximately 1:30 and have students predict which items will break
down – Ex// Styrofoam, plastic shopping bag, cardboard, a piece of cotton fabric,
lettuce, aluminum foil, an apple, a glass jar, and a piece of paper. Items will be sorted
into “Organic and Inorganic’ categories.

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 Finish video – as a class we will see if our answers are correct.


 Discuss the findings in the video – did any of the items surprise you?

Lesson 5: Organic vs. Inorganic Waste Continued.


 Think, pair, share: Students will think of another item not discussed in the video that is
organic (biodegradable) or inorganic on their own, then pair up with an elbow partner
and share their idea. After, each pair will share their answers with the class. We will
add these ideas onto our list.
 Worksheet. (Edmonton Public Schools- Pg. 29-34)
Lesson 6: Organic Waste vs. Inorganic Waste Continued.
 Students will continue working on their worksheet, hand in once complete.
Lesson 7: Garbage Day: What Is in Our Garbage That Could Be Recycled?
 To further confirm students understanding, I will put on rubber gloves and sort
through the garbage so students can see what items they throw out that can be
recycled.
 The classroom has various recycle bins and a composter, so students will decide where
the items should go.
 Based on this information, as a class we will create a column graph showing the
number of items and types of waste. How can we reduce, reuse and recycle these
items?
Lesson 8: Garbage Day Continued.
 Students will complete the rest of the worksheet on their own. (Pg. 15-17 in Edmonton
Public Schools).
Lesson 9: Garbage Day Continued
 Finish worksheet.
 Exit slip – what surprised you about this activity? What do you recycle at home? Will
this activity influence how you ‘throw items’ away?
Lesson 10: Composting: What Is a Composter & How Does It Work?
 Discuss what a composter is and how it works. Students should be familiar with this
because they have one in the classroom. See what students already know about
composting.
 YouTube Video -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBkBwVFFEWw&index=4&list=PLgVnXuJnaKvZjKE
s2KwlDbQLJmz9FnJIi (approx.7 mins)
 How are composts, biodegradable items and decomposers related? Brainstorm ideas
and examples on the front board.
 Look at the classroom compost – what is happening inside? What kinds of things will
you see in a composter?
 Smartboard Activity – Group Activity – Students will sort various pictures of items, and
drag them into the proper category of how they can be disposed.
Lesson 11: Composting: What Is a Composter & How Does It Work?
 Continuation from lesson 9.

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Lesson 12: What Do Humans Waste?


 Have students make a list of things they put into the garbage yesterday. (Think about
mealtimes or events at school and at home.)
 In partners, students will compare their lists. What happens to our waste? Where does
it go? What are some problems associated with the amount of waste we produce?
 Read “Waste Not, Respect Always” in Protecting the Planet. Discuss how FNMI
communities reduce waste in their lives. As a class, make a list of the different ways
identified in the reading. Why was it important for the Easter Woodland people to be
resourceful? What can we learn from these stories about waste?
 From the class list, ask students how they could reduce waste in their home, school
and community. Students will be given a chart to record how much garbage they
throw away over the course of a week. We will use this data later in the unit.
Lesson 13: Continuation from lesson 12.
Lesson 14: Hazardous Waste
 What does the word ‘hazardous’ mean? – create a class definition.
 Discuss what kinds of items in our homes are hazardous? What rooms in your home
would you find these in? How do you know they are hazardous?
 YouTube – videos go through types of hazardous materials and how to dispose of
them properly -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=51&v=Nb0GoYIz5Ck
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=XdwvCRVxpIM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=46&v=8rUAglrIAVw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=63&v=Dsva5Ag8l-0
 Smartboard Presentation – teach students to identify the symbols of hazardous
household products. Give examples for each category.
 Worksheet – Practice identifying toxic/hazardous symbols and describe how to
dispose of them – Edmonton Public Schools Pg. 93/94 and Pg. 88-90
Lesson 15: Hazardous Waste
 Continuation from lesson 14.
 Continue working on worksheets from the previous lesson. Identifying hazardous and
toxic materials is an important safety skill for students to have. May spend extra time
on this if necessary.
Lesson 16: Putting What We Know About Recycling Together
 Look at the kinds of recycling bins in our classroom. Discuss each type and what you
would find in it. Are there other things we can recycle at home? (Ex// metal, batteries,
technology).
 Worksheet: Pg. 147-148 in Edmonton Public Schools. Students will sort a list of items
into different recyclable categories and identify each category.
 Go over answers as a class once everyone is finished.
Lesson 17: What Items Can We Reuse?
 Often we tend to just buy ‘new items’ how can we reuse some of the stuff we already
have? Have students list 5 items that may be recycled or thrown into the garbage.
Ex// 1. A glass jar, 2. Tin can, 3. Piece of wood, 4. A used book. 5. A toy.

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 Students will write down - How could these 5 items be ‘reused’? What could you
make with these items? They will draw pictures to accompany their answers.
 Share time. Students can share their ideas with their classmates. (Hand in this
activity).
Lesson 18: What Items Can We Reuse?
 Continue activity from lesson 17
Lesson 19: Recycling Electronic Waste.
 Read news article “Waste and Our World – What do we do with electronic waste”
 Students will answer a couple questions about the reading – reading comp.
 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0ikFMTuS9c
 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaKLgovVkJQ
 Discussion – who has recycled e-waste? Where can we take these items in Medicine
Hat?
Lesson 20: Too Much Packaging
 I will bring in various household items that have too much packaging.
 Students will get into groups and examine each item. On their chart worksheet,
students will write down how the packaging can be recycled or how the amount of
packaging for the item could be reduced.
Lesson 21: Too Much Packaging
 Continuation from lesson 19
 “No Garbage Lunch Day” – Students will be challenged to bring a lunch that has no
garbage. We will discuss what students have in their lunches and the garbage or
recycling items they have.
Lesson 22: Too Much Packaging
 As a class discuss the advantages and disadvantages of packaging.
 Taking what we have learned about the different types of packaging, students will
complete a worksheet to discuss the pros and cons of various kinds of packaging.
 Edmonton Public Schools Pg. 63-66.
Lesson 23: Looking at Home Data
 Have students make a chart and record the number of ways they could minimize the
amount of waste in their lives over the course of a day or week. Chart the individual
reductions of waste and represent all students’ responses in a class bar graph. Using
the class total, we will make calculations. What would add up to in a month? A year?
(I decided to push this activity back in the unit to make sure students have sufficient
time to record their data at home and bring it in)
Lesson 24: Looking at Home Data
 Continued calculations from lesson 23
 As a class we will discuss, analyze and calculate data based on their records of waste
from home.

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Lesson 25: Looking at the City of Medicine Hat Recycling Website


 https://www.medicinehat.ca/government/departments/environmental-utilities/solid-
waste-utility/recycling-programs/recycling-faq
 Students will be put in pairs – each pair will get an iPad/computer, their task will be to
find certain things about recycling programs in our community. This will be set up as a
virtual scavenger hunt. Students will find the answers to various questions from a
worksheet. They will be looking on the city of Medicine Hat website.
 This will be a great way to further educate students about the waste disposal
programs within the community. They may take these ideas home.
Lesson 26: Continuation from lesson 25.
 I think this will be a fun activity, however, may take some time considering students
may not be strong with computer navigation. This activity is a great way for students
to get to know their community better, therefore, I am open to spending 3 classes on
it.
Lesson 27: Continuation from lesson 25
Lesson 28: Where Does Our Garbage Go?
 What is a landfill? What is the difference between a landfill and a dump?
 YouTube Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=162&v=pC1u6rJkyzA
 Smartboard Presentation – show pictures of a landfill vs a dump. Show the different
parts of each. Discuss the process.
 Worksheet – ‘What to do with all that trash” Edmonton Public Schools
Lesson 29: Case Study: Plastics in Our Oceans vs. Marine Life.
 https://app.discoveryeducation.ca/learn/videos/7ecc65a8-ad09-44e2-8cbe-
fcbbf8d0a53a/
 https://app.discoveryeducation.ca/learn/videos/50d96823-a552-435b-8cce-
ec867945a76c
 https://learn360.infobase.com/p_ViewVideo.aspx?xtid=146134&tScript=0 (40mins)
Lesson 30: Case Study: Plastics in Our Oceans vs. Marine Life
 Videos continued.
Lesson 31: Case Study: Plastics in Out Oceans vs. Marine Life
 Activity – have not decided what I want to do yet. Going to see what students are
passionate about during the unit, then go from there. I am thinking after students
watch these videos and gain some more insight on how waste effects our world and
animals, have each student make small posters to hang up in the school to remind
people to recycle, reduce plastic use, reuse items, etc.
Lesson 32: Review Class
 Students will receive a review for the unit test. This will help them review and study.
During this time, they can work on their review and ask me questions.
Lesson 33: Unit Project
 Students will be working on their unit project for four classes. See ‘Assessment’
section for details.

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 I am open for allotting more time if needed *


Lesson 34: Unit Project
Lesson 35: Unit Project
Lesson 36: Unit Project
Lesson 37: Review Class
 Finish review for unit test. During this time students will complete their review and
ask me questions for their upcoming test.
Lesson 38: Review Class
 Fun review class. (Either Kahoot or Jeopardy review questions – I will decide which
will work better for my class closer to this lesson – it depends on how working with
iPads/computers go during lessons 25/26) *
Lesson 39: Unit Test
 Students will write their unit test during this time.
 I designated 2 classes for this because I am unsure how much time will be needed and
want to ensure that students do not feel rushed *
Lesson 40: Unit Test

Assessments Strategies
Formative Assessments: Students will be
assessed formatively many times during this
unit to check for understanding. I will use
multiple strategies to formatively assess what
students have learned (assessment for
learning). These assessments will be weighted
5% and participation based. For example:
 Group discussions will be used often. This is a great way for students to get out their
ideas and rally ideas off each other. Through this formative assessment technique, I will
be able to see what students already know or have learned from the lesson. In addition,
students will be able to see new perspectives from their peers.
 Exit Slips will be used to check for understanding after various lessons. This is a suitable
way to see what students learned after a lesson, and will allow me to see if students
understand the concept, or if we need to take another class to better develop their
understanding.

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 Daily observations are also important in formatively assessing students. I will be walking
around the room when students are working on assignments to ensure that they
understand. For instance, if many students are stuck on the same question, that will tell
me that we may need to go over that specific concept again.
 Various other activities will be formatively assessed also. I want to make sure students
understand the significance of waste in our community. For example, students will have
a small take home assignment to tally the amount of garbage they throw away over the
course of a week at home, I will be looking to see if students participated, not that data
they bring back to school. Also, after the case study on our oceans and marine life,
students will be tasked with creating a poster to remind people to recycle - these
posters will be hung up around the school. This formative assessment is more about
reminding others in our school to reduce, reuse, recycle, etc., rather than the artistry of
their poster.

Summative Assessments:
 Worksheets & Assignments: several worksheets and assignments will be taken in for
marks. I will mark these personally, or we will mark them in class. I want to give
students feedback. These various assignments and worksheets will be the bulk of their
“Waste and Our World” unit mark and weighted 40%.
 Unit Test: At the end of our unit, students will be tested on what they have learned. This
test will be weighted 30% of their “Waste and Our World” unit mark. This test will show
me what students have learned over the unit. I have scheduled two classes to write this
test to ensure that all types of learners have sufficient time.
 Unit Project: Towards the end of the unit students will create a unit project to display
their learning and link all the major topics and themes in this unit together. The concept
of this project is to teach someone who knows nothing about waste in our world, about
how to identify wastes, recycle wastes, reuse wastes, reduce wastes, etc. Students will
have a choice in how they want to present their information, they can either create a
pamphlet, use google slides or make a large poster. I want to accommodate all learner

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types– visual, tactile, etc. – therefore, I think giving students choice will be an engaging
way for students to display their understanding. The unit project medium will be
marked the same based on a rubric. For example, it does not matter if a student decides
to make a poster, a pamphlet or a presentation, they will all be marked on the same
criteria. Before students start their assignment, we will go over the rubric and criterion
to ensure that all students understand their task. I have scheduled four classes for this
project, however, I am open to spending more time on this if students are working hard.
Since we will be spending a good chunk of our unit on this project and it links everything
students have learned together, this project will be weighted 25% of their “Waste and
Our World” unit mark.

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Exit Slip
Worksheets & Group Daily Other
Unit Test Unit Project Activities,
Assignments Discussions Observations Activities
Learning Outcomes etc.
Summative Summative Summative Formative Formative Formative Formative
40% 30% 25% Participation Based – 5%
4.5.1: Identify plant and animal
wastes, and describe how they are
recycled in nature.
4.5.2: Identify and classify wastes
that result from human activity.
4.5.3: Describe alternative methods
of disposal, and identify possible
advantages and disadvantages of
each.
4.5.4: Distinguish between wastes
that are readily biodegradable and
those that are not.
4.5.5: Compare different kinds of
packaging, and infer the relative
advantages and disadvantages of
that packaging. In evaluating
different forms of packaging,
students should demonstrate the
ability to consider a consumer
perspective as well as an
environment perspective.
4.5.6: Identify methods of waste
disposal currently used within the
local community.
4.5.7: Identify kinds of wastes that
may be toxic to people within the
local community.
4.5.8: Identify alternative materials
and processes that may be
decrease the amount of waste
produced.
4.5.9: Identify ways in which
materials can be reused or
recycled, including examples of
things that the student has done.
4.5.10: Develop a flow chart for a
consumer product that indicates
the source materials, final product,
its use and method of disposal.
4.5.11: Identify actions that
individuals and groups can take to
minimize the production of wastes,
to recycle or reuse wastes and to
ensure the safe handling and
disposal of wastes.
4.5.12: Develop and implement a
plan to reduce waste, and monitor
what happens over a period of
time.

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Planning for Diversity:


 One accommodation I will have to offer a couple of students is more time and more one
on one help. With this in mind, I have planned 40 classes, however, I can use several
more classes if necessary. I will also will make sure to float around the classroom when
students are working to offer additional help to students. Also, I will make myself
available to students who need extra help over lunch hour, recess, etc. because I want
all my students to have the same opportunity to learn and succeed. * (Once I am in the
classroom teaching, I will have a better idea of the diversity in the classroom.)
 I have incorporated a variety
of activities to reach all types
of learners in the classroom.
Ex// visual, tactile, auditory,
linguistic, technology based,
etc. I think by integrating
many different types of
activities and assessment, a
diverse amount of learners
will be reached.
Resources:
 Edmonton Public Schools
 Learn Alberta:
o http://www.learnalberta.ca/ProgramOfStudy.aspx?lang=en&ProgramId=379983#65
575
 YouTube Videos
 Discovery Education Canada:
o https://app.discoveryeducation.ca/learn/streaming
 Learn 360:
o https://learn360.infobase.com/p_Home.aspx
 Smartboard Activities
 Protecting the Plant – “Waste Not, Respect Always”
 Various Newspaper Articles
 City of Medicine Hat Website:
o https://www.medicinehat.ca/government/departments/environmental-
utilities/solid-waste-utility/recycling-programs/recycling-faq
 Kahoot

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