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The District’s Education Specialist can come into your classroom to teach about the environment. Presentations are designed to meet science indicators and may also integrate social studies, mathematics and language arts. Longer presentations are hands-on and shorter ones may include a worksheet, story, craft or game. Each presentation is geared to a specific grade. Choose one from the classroom presentation list or have the Education Specialist design one especially for your classroom.
Classroom presentations topics include:
Classes are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. The Education Specialist will need a two to four week lead time to schedule a school visit. She prefers to reach every class in your grade level, and usually one classroom at a time. When creating a schedule for the Education Specialist, please schedule presentations back to back and make sure she gets at least an hour break for lunch. Spring is a busy time of year, so review your science lessons and determine other times that topics would enhance your lessons.
The Education Specialist is responsible for teaching the presentation requested by the school; however, she is not responsible for behavior control. A school representative must be incharge of the group of students during the presentation. The Education Specialist reserves the right to not begin or complete a presentation for any reason, especially based on inappropriate student behavior or change with an agreed upon schedule.
Putting on Pollutant Pounds
Human activity has impacted the environment including changing the climate. Students will calculate the amount of pollutants emitted for their energy needs, and they will discuss how actions and activities impact the environment. Students will brainstorm solutions.
Focus on Carbon
Carbon is the number one greenhouse gas that is causing the earth to warm and the climate to change. Students will learn about the carbon cycle, be able to distinguish between carbon sinks and carbon sources, compare carbon emission rates of several countries and learn how simple actions can combat climate change.
The Big Three Greenhouse Gases
The top three greenhouse gases are forms of carbon, methane and nitrogen that are naturally occurring. Through human activity these gases are present in higher concentrations compared to pre human history. Students will learn about cycles and properties of each of the gases through a series of several active games. Students will learn different choices they can make to lower or raise their emissions of greenhouse gases.
Introduce the idea of composting once living things through reading the Compost Stew Book. Students will participate in the story by adding their faux item to the stew pot. Items represent composting from A-Z. In the end, they magically make compost and learn how it is used.
Composting slowly changes once living materials into healthy soil, which help plants grow. Students will learn about non-living and living materials, how living materials decompose, what can be composted and the organisms that help with the composting process.
The proper amount of greens and browns are needed in a compost pile to have organic matter decompose properly. Students will learn the ingredients needed to build a compost pile by creating an edible model of a compost pie.
Compost and Soils
Students will learn the composition and properties of compost, sand, soil and mulch through testing these materials. Students will construct a compost pile to observe organic waste decomposing over time.
Worms help break down organic matter and can be used to reduce garbage going to landfills. Students will study a red wiggler worm and record in a worm book about how they move, what they eat, etc. Students will be able to share facts about worms, their attitude towards them and benefits of a worm farm.
Composting fruits, leaves, grasses and other organic wastes create humus, which is high in nutrients. Students will learn about how organic matter decomposes and how nutrients are cycled to be reused by other plants.
Nature & Human Cycles
Follow the example of natural cycles to live more in harmony with the earth. Students will discuss several natural cycles and how they can mimic nature by reusing natural resources through recycling.
Natural resources are used to make products, but most people throw them away after one use. Students will examine cycles of goods by creating a diagram of how goods are produced and finding out what happens to them.
Sun, food, gas and coal create electric energy and heat. Students will learn how energy is used, and they will add up the cost of their energy habits and brainstorm ideas on how simple actions can conserve energy.
Energy comes from renewable sources like the sun and nonrenewable sources like coal. Students will create an energy resource wheel, and they will discuss ways to extend energy use through conservation and efficiency.
Far Out Fossil Fuels
Gasoline is a fossil fuels made from crude oil. Students will learn how fossil fuels are formed and processed into other energy sources. They will also discover how to conserve nonrenewable energy resources.
A town meeting has been called to decide what “land-use” plan will be the best for the town’s forest. Students as a team will design a “land-use” plan for local forest resources based on environmental and economic needs, then they will present their plan for a vote.
Household Hazardous Waste
Many products found in the home can be dangerous to children, adults and pets. Students will recognize symbols and words that indicate hazardous substances and create a recipe book for safe household substitutes.
Home, Safe Home*
Cleaning will keep the house neat and tidy, but some products used in cleaning may be hazardous to people and the environment. Students will learn the difference between toxic and nontoxic home products and create a green cleaning wheel for environmentally safe cleaning products.
What Home Haz Envirochallenge
Harmful products are used in just about every room of a house. Students will learn about household hazardous wastes and how they effect humans and the environment through a game.
What’s In the School’s Trash
We’re going to be sorting and weighing school garbage and we’ll learn about what students are throwing away in the classroom and the cafeteria. This will demonstrate the school’s recycling opportunity and help you build a case for recycling.
Building An Edible Landfill
Trash is hauled to a landfill and forgotten. Students learn about how a landfill is constructed and the environmental problems of their trash when constructing a landfill, which when completed they can eat.
When trash is put in a landfill, it creates environmental and human health problems. Students learn the environmental problems their trash creates and how landfills are constructed. They will build a landfill model in a cup and test if it will leak.
Litter can make the neighborhood look trashy. Students will learn about litter through listening to the wonderful story of the Wartville Wizard, and they will make a bracelet out of pop bottles to remind them to not litter.
Fishing for Litter
Litter is caused by careless actions of people who do not take care of their trash properly. Students will learn the difference between good and bad environmental habits and learn the seven sources of litter.
Map Out Litter
Litter can be found almost everywhere. Students will learn about basic map parts, place litter on a map of a park based on directions, and discuss what litter can do to the environment. Great way to introduce or review using map skills.
What is the "P" in Litter?
Unfortunately, people litter and some of it ends up in our waterways and oceans. The "P" in litter is plastic. Students will listening to a taped slideshow on how plastics harm our water and marine life and learn how to reduce use of plastic. Students will participate in an activity to show how litter accumulates and if the teacher chooses do a plastic reuse craft.
Lasting Litter Timeline
Litter has a negative impact on the environment, especially since some litter will not decompose. Students will learn how long litter takes to degrade, and they will brainstorm action steps for a school litter prevention program.
The Costly Thing*
Pollution results when factories use energy, water and natural resources to manufacture products. Students will assess pollution values for manufacturing processes, and they will determine the environmental impact of using recycled materials in manufacturing.
Pollution on the Move*
Pollution negatively impacts the environment and can create human health problems. Student will identify sources of man-made pollutants and how pollution enters the environment.
Whatever humans use come from nature and it is called a natural resource. Students will differentiate between resources that are natural and man-made, and they will discuss how reduce, reuse and recycle can conserve resources.
Plastics are found more and more in the trash, partly because only two types of plastic can be recycled. Students will learn about characteristics of plastics, how they are made and which types can be recycled. An optional extension is to create shrinking plastic crafts out of plastic carry out containers.
Follow That Bottle
Recycled plastic soda bottles can be made into several products such as clothing and carpeting. Students will discuss how plastic bottles are recycled into new products. They will learn its recycling process and color cartoon pictures to create a book on recycling plastic bottles.
Natural resources can be categorized by more than just animal, vegetable and mineral. Students will brainstorm what products are made from sand, metal, fossil fuels, animals and plants and apply the list during a bingo game.
The origin of all materials is natural resources that come from the earth. Students will learn about mining natural resources by extracting chocolate out of a cookie, and they will calculate the financial and environmental cost of obtaining natural resources from the earth.
The Paper Factory*
Paper makes up 80-90% of what schools send as trash to the landfill, although most of the paper is recyclable. Groups of students will make paper while learning the amount of energy and monetary value of the materials they used during the manufacturing process.
Americans use 120 pounds of resources everyday from food, clothing to transportation. Students will decide how to develop a town by using its natural resources and finding a solution for their trash. Students will discuss how people can affect the environment and the quality of life.
Michael Recycles, A Green Superhero
Very cute story about a green superhero changes a town to be more sustainable. Students will sort recycling items by material such as plastics, metals, glass containers and paper products. In addition, students can make superhero hats and/or pins (requires longer than 30 minutes for the craft).
The Day the Trash Went Out to Play
Read a great story of trash coming to life and how the town’s people cleaned it up. Students will sort items that are either recycled or trash.
Where From?, Where Go?
When people recycle, natural resources are used again and again. Students will learn that products come from natural resources and they will determine which materials can be recycled.
The 3 Rs
Reduce, reuse, recycle are ways to decrease the amount of trash going to landfills and it is one way students can be involved with taking care of the earth. Students learn what can be recycled in their community by sorting a trash bucket and demonstrating ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Sir Johnny Recycling Adventure
Students will listen to a story, on why people should recycle and how paper is made. Students then can make one piece of recycled paper.
A MRF, or material recovery facility, sorts recyclables into categories through the use of machines and human labor. Students will test materials for properties that can be used to demonstrate how to sort recyclables.
Recycling is really easy. Students will sort trash to learn what can be recycled and the benefits of recycling.
Recycle the World
Besides being good for the environment, recycling is good for the economy. Students learn about the manufacturing process and will have the world in their hands as they learn what effects the economics of manufacturing.
See also recycling, natural resources, energy and waste reduction.
Fishing for the Future
Do you want to intruduce the concept of saving enough the generations to follow? Students will learn what sustainability means by going fishing year after year. Students will demonstrate and discuss how their fishing practices effect fish populations.
Farming for the Future
Food does not really just come from the store. And, people's lives depend on farming, especially in developming countries. Students will make decisions on farming and experience impacts the effect crop yeilds and local and global solutions.
Shop Till You Drop
We wante and need things for our quality of life. Students will get a set amount of money and make decisions on what they can afford and discuss what happens and the impacts of earnings and spending decisions.
Toil for Oil
Non renewables take thousands or millions of years to generate. Student will figure out how difficult it is to extract limited resources. They will discuss renewable energy and natural resources as alternatives.
Making A Garbage Pie
The garbage that is thrown away can be categorized to into groups for research purposes. Students will learn about paper, plastic, metal, glass, yard waste and food waste by creating a garbage pie. The students will learn what can be recycled.
Secrets in a Garbage Can*
Unearth trash like an archeologist. Students will be able to explain what discarded materials might reveal about a family or society and their relationship to the environment when they unearth artifacts from “the back forty.”
Trash for Around the World*
The United States is one of the most wasteful countries in the world. Students will examine trash and interpret data about global solid waste practices.
Learning about garbage can be as fun as talking trash. Students will learn about garbage and related environmental problems when they take turns answering questions for a point for their team.
School lunch time is waste time. Students learn how to pack lunches to minimize the amount of trash that they throw away.
A Pig’s Tale
This is a pig story with a twist. Students will listen to the story and will create a craft from trash students saved such as creating a collage from old magazine pictures.
Pass, on the Plastic Bag
Cities around the country and the world are banning plastic bags. Learn why plastic bags are bag for the environment. Students will design their own bag and promote the use of reusable shopping bags.
Peoples’ choices about what to buy affect the environment. Students will brainstorm ways to reduce waste and help the environment.
- If you are looking to integrate topics above or include other environmental issues, our Education Specialist can design a class to meet your needs and encourage students’ retention of information in a fun and dynamic way.
- Activities with an asterisk are based on Windows on Waste unit