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Author

Science Journal for Kids

Grades

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

Subjects

Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Scientific Papers or Reports
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 23 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 9 minutes, 49 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 11 seconds
  • Worksheets
  • Assessments

Regional Focus

Global, Asia, Polar Regions

Format

PDF

How Much Plastic from the Pandemic Ends up in the Ocean?

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Synopsis
  • 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.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • 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.

Additional Prerequisites

  • 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.

Differentiation

  • 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.
Scientist Notes
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.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
      • 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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.CI.3.2 Recount in oral and written form the key details from a multi-paragraph informational text and explain how they support the main idea.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.ES.5.3 Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
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