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Erase Waste

STOP before you toss stuff in the garbage! Find new ways to use items that regularly end up in landfills. You can personally erase waste!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Trash or treasure? As a class list objects that are thrown in the trash each day. Break students into small groups, brainstorm ways to reuse or recycle items on the list. Gather clean, recycled, bags, boxes, plastic bottles, and other objects, such as small toys. Identify at least one way to reuse each object or avoid wasting it. Create a 3-D poster.
    2. Students design an ERASE WASTE poster. Title the poster with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. You could make swatches of color and then erase the words, decorate the letters, and make colorful borders by erasing.
    3. Show how to ERASE WASTE for each of the objects in the display. For example, to stop wasting paper lunch bags, kids could pack lunches in reusable lunch boxes. Cut and fold a mini-sized lunch bag. Make a lunch box out of a small recycled box covered with construction paper. Attach objects to the poster with Crayola School Glue or tape. Write recommendations such as, "Instead of using... pack your lunch in.…"
    4. Fill the poster with the group’s favorite ideas. Air-dry glue before displaying where it will inspire others to ERASE WASTE.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    What do archaeologists do? Students investigate steps an archaeologist take in investigating a site. These steps include: research, survey, excavation, artifact processing, analysis, reporting, and preservation. Students summarize their research into an electronic format for classmates to view.

    What may have been in garbage piles 1,000 years ago? What have archaeologists found and how are their discoveries helping us understand long-ago lifestyles. Students brainstorm what archaeologists of the future may be able to tell about our cultures from what we leave behind.

    Organize a field trip to a local recycling plant. Investigate where different products go to be recycled. Research what is made from different recycled materials. Plan an interview with your school's principal to discuss the recycling plan in your school district. Brainstorm what students may do to improve that recycling plan.

    Import soil from a state or country other than your own. Divide up the soil so that students can search through it in small groups. Chronicle what you find. What does this tell you about the people that live in the area where the soil is from? Can you theorize what life is like there?


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