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Year 04 - Geography - What a load of rubbish!

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"I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use." – Mother Teresa

Program overview

Program inquiry question:

What can we do about our waste problem?

In this two-hour program, grade four students are encouraged to lead a sustainability change within the school community. The program integrates aspects of the Science, Geography, Literacy and Health to harness the passion of the students and create a sense of environmental responsibility and empowerment.

Prior to the day, your class will conduct a waste audit to establish the issues with rubbish at your school. This, together with information gathered during the session, will form part of the collection of problems and solutions that will later inform the students' persuasive videos. Completed videos are intended for a wider audience, namely younger students in school and the leadership team.

We begin the day by looking at the amount of time it takes everyday items to breakdown in landfill and consider what the impacts to the environment and human health might be. Students then discuss what possible solutions they can make as part of the school and wider community.

In a waste sort activity, students attempt to reduce the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill by separating waste into that which can be recycled, reused or composted. Students will also learn more about what types of plastics can and cannot be recycled in addition to discovering more about new and innovative recycling initiatives that could be undertaken by the school.

After watching a video detailing the impact of single use plastics on wildlife, the students gather together the information collected throughout the session and create a persuasive script. The use of emotive language, inclusive pronouns, powerful sentence starters and other persuasive devices is explicitly modelled to provide all students with the best chance of success. Finally, in pairs, the students record their presentations and use these, together with carefully selected supporting images, to produce powerfully persuasive pieces of work. 

Curriculum links

Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment - Year 4 - what a load of rubbish

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Last reviewed 08 June 2020
Last updated 08 June 2020