This lesson explores scientific research about the extra plastic waste produced as a result of the pandemic that may eventually end up in the oceans.
It includes an adapted version of the scientific paper with vocabulary terms and reading comprehension questions, videos to support student understanding, and additional links to support implementation.
The PDF included within this lesson is colorful, engaging, and contains maps and highlighted text to enhance comprehension.
This resource compels students to reduce single-use plastic consumption and provides tips on how to do so.
Teachers must sign up and provide some basic information, such as name, email address, and school, in order to access the Teacher's Key.
Particularly for students who were young when the pandemic started, it may help to give some background information on changes to daily life that may have increased plastic usage compared to pre-pandemic times.
The second video consists of a narrator reading the article aloud and, therefore, could serve as a reading support for some readers who may benefit from hearing the text read aloud.
Preview the "Related Articles from our Archives" section of this resource to provide extension articles for students who might be ready for additional reading material.
In order to help students process the article, put them into groups to discuss the "Check for Understanding" questions before asking them to write responses in their own words.
Create a simple graphic organizer for students to use while reading that asks them to capture the most important aspects of the content, such as research question, sources of plastic investigated, research findings, and actions you can take.
Consider using this other video on the impact of plastic pollution on the environment to further understanding and spark curiosity about plastic production and the impacts of plastic pollution.
Art classes could use the article or videos within this resource prior to analyzing artwork on the same topic, such as "Plastic Culture,""Sea of Plastic," and "A Hui Hou." These pieces of art depict the massive worldwide problems associated with plastic usage.
High school students could utilize the original scientific paper, linked in the additional teaching resources, for lessons about scientific writing, the scientific method, or data analysis.
Plastic pollution is a common threat to marine resources and habitats. Fish, turtles, other marine species accidentally eat plastic and eventually die, it might also end up in the food we eat. It also suggest strategies to reduce plastic pollution including recycling, help to remove plastic from the ocean, reduce the use of single-use plastic, etc. Hence, this resource has been exhaustively fact-checked and is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: History
D2.His.14.6-8 Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
D2.His.14.3-5 Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments.
Dimension 3: Gathering and Evaluating Sources
D3.2.6-8 Evaluate the credibility of a source by determining its relevance and intended use.
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.7.3-5 Explain different strategies and approaches students and others could take in working alone and together to address local, regional, and global problems, and predict possible results of their actions.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.3 Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.