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  • Climate Action

Regional Focus

  • United States

Food Waste: What’s the Problem? What’s the Solution?

Authors: Project Look Sharp, Sox Sperry
Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Social Studies, Economics, Civics
Resource Types:
  • Activity, 15-30 minutes
  • Lesson Plan
  • Video, 2 minutes, 26 seconds
  • Video, 3 minutes, 3 seconds
  • Video, 3 minutes, 11 seconds
  • In this 15-30 minute media literacy activity students analyze videos for messages about the problems and potential solutions related to global food waste and climate change.
  • Discuss the different messages from the different sources.
  • Resource includes student lesson (PDF) plan and three video clips.
Teaching Tips
  • The lesson plan offers many possible variations depending on your focus.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Teachers must create a free account to access materials.
  • The worksheet asks students about the reliability of the sources they are given, so you will need to provide instruction on how they can determine this.
  • Be sure you have researched the sources ahead of time so you are aware of their viewpoints and biases.
  • The lesson plan refers to a "constructivist media decoding process," details about which can be found here (it's highly recommended you read through these materials before teaching this lesson! It really helps you understand the goals of the lesson and its design).
  • You may want to use some process or protocol where students are responding to questions individually and in small groups before discussing as a whole class.
Scientist Notes

Food waste is a global problem that increases carbon footprint (releases methane and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere). This resource is good material as it provides insights on how to curb food waste and mitigate climate change impact. The resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.6 Analyze the author's purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.


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