(from Lesson 6 - Resource Recovery)
this lesson students will observe the rate at which different trash
Use of the book:
Teacher notes on activity: p.148-151
Student instructions for activity: p.152
Data recording/Analysis questions: p.153-154
polystyrene egg cartons,
soil water, wooden Popsicle sticks or plastic spoons; and
small pieces of: newspaper,
aluminum foil, shredded leaves,
cardboard, glass marble,
metal paper clip,
plastic bottle cap, etc.
p.152-153 on overhead transparencies
Opening Strategy: p.149
What happens to garbage when it is tossed into a landfill? What
is decomposition? Do different conditions affect decompostion
(ie. temperature, light, moisture, organisms (biodegradation),
1. Label a 12-square grid on the inside lid of an egg carton.
2. Bury the items.
3. Do this for the same items 3 weeks in advance of the workshop,
2 weeks , 1 week.
4. Bring to workshop, dig up a few items to compare. If doing as
an activity with a classroom, students can use the data recording
sheet to measure and describe each item and make predictions about
what will happen.
5. Discuss. Ideas:
Extensions, Cross-Curricular Integration : p.150.
Language arts – keep journals to describe changes in more
Life Science – food chains/webs and the importance of
Math – graph changes in size and mass over time.
Plastic bags that are marketed as biodegradable are
really made of small pieces of plastic
The starch decomposes, but the tiny pieces
of plastic remain intact in the environment.
Garbage Gazette: p.214
Nature’s Garbage Disposal” - using worms – vermicomposting.
Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Room 244
PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA 85721-0207 firstname.lastname@example.org