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Project Look Sharp, Sox Sperry


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, Justice

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 15-30 minutes
  • Lesson Plan
  • Video, 2 minutes, 26 seconds
  • Video, 3 minutes, 3 seconds
  • Video, 3 minutes, 11 seconds

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

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

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  • In this media literacy activity, students will watch and analyze videos on food waste problems and solutions. 
  • Students will learn that food waste is an environmental and human rights problem. 
  • This resource includes a student lesson plan and three video clips. 
Teaching Tips
  • This lesson plan includes discussion questions for several academic subjects.
  • Students will learn that global food production could feed the global population, but the food is not distributed equitably, resulting in food waste and hunger.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Teachers must create a free account to access the materials.
  • The videos "Food Waste: The World's Dumbest Environmental Problem" and "Earth Day 1970-2019: No Time to Waste" contain no audio narration, so some students may benefit from frequent pauses to read the text.
  • Students could respond to questions individually or in small groups before discussing their answers as a class.
  • Students could keep a food waste journal to record how much food they throw away each week, then come up with an action plan to waste less food.
  • Economics classes could evaluate how food waste affects the profit margin of different groups such as grocery stores, restaurants, and school cafeteria food providers. Students could come up with solutions for how these groups could waste less food to improve their profits.
  • Other resources on this topic include this activity on creating solutions for eliminating food waste and this Project Drawdown article on how reducing food waste will decrease carbon emissions.
Scientist Notes

Food waste is a global problem that increases our carbon footprint by releasing methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This resource is good 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)
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
      • 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.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.2.6-8 Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to current economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • 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.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 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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