- Become aware of the need to reduce waste and reuse and recycle material
- Say what the 3 Rs are.
Whole Class Discussion: Ask the class if they have ever heard the term the “3Rs”?
Show video-See additional info. After, ask them what the 3 Rs mean?
Write on board-the 3Rs refers to three terms often used when talking about waste: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reducing is cutting back on the amount of trash we make, reusing is finding a new way to use trash so that we don’t have to throw it out, and recycling is using trash to remake new goods that can be sold again
This is a link with Science. Ask permission to dig hole in school grounds!
Cut the four bags so that they’re all the same height. Teacher will do most of the manual work.
- Place identical solid waste ingredients into each bag, and secure the bags with twisty ties.
- Place the bags side by side in the trench, then cover with dirt so that just the tops of the bags are showing.
- Evenly water the soil over the bags.
- Cover the trench with the boards, and weight them with some stones or bricks. This will help to keep any critters who smell the trash from digging up your experiment.
- Wait for four weeks and uncover the bags. Remove enough dirt so that you can observe the bags, and record your observations. Remember to use your sense of smell, and be sure to wear rubber or latex gloves when handling the rubbish.
- Replace the dirt over the bags, and put the wood back over top of the trench.
- Four weeks later, uncover and dig up the bags again, making sure to note your observations.
- Dispose properly of all rubbish, and fill in the trench so it’s level with the ground around it.
Children can write a report up outlining what they discovered
Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:
This lesson plan could take a couple of lessons to complete!Linkage with Science.
https://youtu.be/TjnNOCbuoCA Smart learning video on the 3 Rs is ten minutes long but it very well done.
Full lesson procedure of “Which bag will break down first?” is at https://www.factmonster.com/cig/science-fair-projects/what-kind-trash-bag-breaks-down-fastest
You will also need:One brown, paper grocery bag
- One plastic shop bag
- One standard, black plastic bin bag (such as Hefty brand)
- One plastic bin bag that’s marketed as biodegradable
- Four “twisty ties”
- Black plastic with which to line the “landfill”
- One large piece of wood or several smaller pieces with which to cover the “landfill”
- Several bricks or good-sized stones
- Rubber or latex gloves
- One slice of bread
- Peels from four slices of apple
- 2 tablespoons coffee grounds
- One slice of cheese
- One paper towel, crumbled up
- Watermelon rind or banana peel