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Climate Change, Visual Art Analysis


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts


60 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Plastic World (Art for the Earth #3)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Dec 2, 2023
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In this lesson, students view images of plastic pollution around the world, watch a video on plastic pollution, and analyze artwork about plastic pollution.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students complete a KWL on plastic pollution and view six images of plastic pollution around the world.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students watch a video on plastic pollution and discuss.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students analyze artwork with a partner and then choose one artwork to analyze using the art critique star.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students are exposed to the impacts of global plastic pollution.
  • Students are exposed to a variety of ways activists can use art to create awareness and apply cultural and political pressure to create change.
  • Students will understand that big companies are the ones creating major plastic pollution.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 3 of 6 in our 3rd-5th grade Art for the Earth unit.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of plastic pollution.
  • Partners or small groups will need a set of artwork critiquing question cards between them. To save time, cards can be cut out before the lesson or shared with students digitally.


  • Students can be paired or grouped based on ability. Students who do not regularly shine in class may have the most insightful analysis of the artworks. Make sure to provide concrete, specific feedback on how their analysis is insightful.
  • Make sure to guide students to "share the air" when discussing the artwork in partners or groups. Step in to make sure all students have their voices heard so that certain students are not always talking or always listening.
Scientist Notes

The lesson characterizes plastic pollution around the world. It deploys the power of arts to change people's beliefs towards plastic consumption and improve their understanding on the impact of plastic pollution on the environment. The lesson is well-sourced and is suitable and recommended for teaching.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.1.4a Compare responses to a work of art before and after working in similar media.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 11 - Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
      • VA:Cn11.1.5a Identify how art is used to inform or change beliefs, values, or behaviors of an individual or society.
Art for the Earth Unit Lesson Plans


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