Teaching Resources

Teaching environmental issues in your classroom is a critical component of providing your students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Discover a wealth Chesapeake Bay related books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources.

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Resources > Mathematics   > litter, trash and recycling  
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Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

Educators, parents, students, and researchers can use NOAA's “Turning the Tide on Trash” as they explore the serious impacts marine debris can have on wildlife, the environment, our well being, and our economy. This interdisciplinary guide can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool, or individual activities within the guide may be used to supplement work in other subject areas. Students searching for science fair projects can also adapt some of these lessons into research projects.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling, restoration, water quality, wildlife, tides

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EPA - Turning the Tide on Trash: Marine Debris Curriculum Guide

The three units in this learning guide are designed to increase students' awareness of the impacts of marine debris and teach them pollution prevention techniques. At the same time, the activities strive to inspire an appreciation of the ocean. This guide may be used as a stand-alone teaching tool or individual activities may be used to supplement work in other subject areas.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: pollution, water and energy conservation, litter, trash and recycling, tides

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Riverworks Discovery: Wheel House Log Book

The Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, and James Rivers are some of the most important in the Mid-Atlantic region. These historic rivers contribute to our nation’s economy, history, and culture. This information and activity packet provides content on watersheds, early exploration of the region, the history of water travel and trade, and more.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: boats, canoes and kayaks, development, air pollution and fossil fuels, culture and watermen, John Smith and colonial times, litter, trash and recycling, Native American, restoration, transportation

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Waste Management & Pollution Prevention

Waste management, or "how we handle our trash," is the subject of this information packet. In the included lesson plan, students will measure by weight how much waste is generated by their families and use this information to make an estimate for their community.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling

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Marsh Munchies Game

This is a game to show how much energy a marsh animal needs to carry out daily activities and how marine debris can affect their lives. Following completion of this lesson, the students will be able to 1) Understand that animals must have food to survive 2) Food sources are varied and limitied 3) Realize that marine debris is a critical issues that affects every living creature.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: wetland, litter, trash and recycling

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Think Green "What is in our Trash?" Lesson Plan

Students begin the lesson by examining items to determine what they are made of—glass, paper, plastic, or metal. Next, students collect data to determine what types of trash they produce at lunch time. After making a class graph of this information, students discuss what happens when trash is thrown away and discover four strategies for using resources wisely (reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover). After learning more about recycling by exploring the ThinkGreen website, students display their new learning on a mini poster. Finally, the lesson is extended to the home, where students analyze the trash they produce and brainstorm strategies for reducing the waste.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling

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EPA The Quest for Less: Activities and Resources for Teaching K-8

The Quest for Less is designed for teachers in grades K-8 to use as one of the many tools in the development of lesson plans. Activities and concepts in this resource can be incorporated into existing curricula, or teachers can create special week-long units on the environment and solid waste or use the activities to commemorate Earth Day. This guide provides hands-on lessons and activities, enrichment ideas, journal writing assignments, and other educational tools related to preventing and reducing waste. Its multidisciplinary focus includes math, science, art, social studies, language arts, and health. Lessons encourage students to utilize skills ranging from reading and writing to problem-solving and analytical thinking.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: pollution, litter, trash and recycling

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Think Green Lesson 3: Focus on Recycle/eCycle

This lesson focuses on recycling, with an emphasis on how recycling saves energy and the importance of e-cycling, commonly referred to as eCycling. Students will assess their current knowledge of recycling in the US, calculate the environmental impact of their personal recycling efforts, examine the life cycle of a cell phone and apply that life cycle to environmental decisions, and design an e-cycling plan for home and school electronics.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling

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Types of Pollution Lesson

Students will examine different types of water pollution and their effect on the estuarine ecosystem. Students will classify examples of pollution, using a Venn diagram, and graph the number of examples of each type. They will learn why there are rules and laws regulating the release of pollution into water and devise alternatives and solutions to pollution problems.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, litter, trash and recycling

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Waste Management Curriculum Unit

In this multi-activity 110 page unit covers the following water management practices; source reduction, recycling, composting, landfilling and Combustion. Teachers and students will learn the basics about solid waste management options. They will learn how to prevent it, the benefits of recycling, how to make compost and the realities of waste disposal through landfilling and combustion.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling

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Helping Clean Up a Waterway Lesson

Students will conduct a service project cleaning up litter and debris along the shoreline or on school grounds. They will inventory items collected and determine ways to discourage littering.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: pollution, litter, trash and recycling

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