Away with Waste!
Duration: 1 hour
Objective: To introduce students to the concept that when we throw something away it is still with us. Students will learn some of the ways that people pollute the water and how it effects the environment.
Introduce the lesson by discussing how students dispose of their garbage. Ask them if they know where their waste goes. After discussing their answers have the students read aloud the story Away on the Bay, a short rhyming story about pollution. Now students will discover that although we throw our waste in the trash or flush it down the drain it never really goes away. Many of the students won’t even think of laundry water as waste, or of water as a resource that needs to be conserved.
You may have your students draw pictures of the story illustrating what the bay looked like after it was polluted, and a picture of what the ideal bay would look like. Students may look into ways in which to clean up the bay and restore it. Also brainstorm a list of ways students can prevent pollution, such as only buying things that are necessary, not running small loads of laundry, and recycling.
After reading the story students should be familiar with many of the sources of pollution. Using the Watershed EnviroScape Model, have your students demonstrate ways in which pollution reaches our waters. Have students apply pollution to its source and see what it happens when it "rains." Where does all of the waste go?
Classroom Activities from Ranger Rick’s NatureScope. Troubled Waters-Away with Waste!. National Wildlife Federation. 1997, http://www.nwf.org/nwf/atracks/water/wate0008.html