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Photo by Magda Ehlers via Pexels

Database Provider


Andrea Huelin


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus


"Sea of Plastic"

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  • This mural in Cairns, Australia shows a sea full of single-use plastic bottles in an effort to bring awareness of the plastic waste issue.
  • The artist also lists ways to limit waste and reduce plastic consumption.
Teaching Tips


  • Students can think about their actions and how they affect others and the environment.
  • Students may be inspired to create art that has a message to convey.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students may be curious about the best ways to recycle plastic and the other materials that can be recycled. Research your local recycling provider to find out what can be recycled in your area, as it varies greatly!
  • You and your students can watch this video to learn more or this video about recycling and a circular economy to provide additional context.
  • Although plastic recycling needs significant improvements, other forms of recycling are very important and represent a significant way to reduce waste and address climate change.


  • This mural can be used as a hook during a history or economics class showing the effects of industrialization and globalization.
  • Science classes can connect this mural with lessons about pollution, the oceans, and the effects of human activities on ecosystems.
  • In art class, students can analyze the mural using some of the following questions:
    • Why did the artist choose blue and green bottles?
    • Is the mural more powerful because it covers three sides of a building?
    • Why do you think the artist painted the horizon so far up on the building? What would have changed if she had painted it higher or lower?
Scientist Notes
The resource inspires students to cut down on plastic pollution in their environment. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.1.6a Identify and interpret works of art or design that reveal how people live around the world and what they value
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