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Litter is waste that does not get thrown into a trash can or recycling bin. Pedestrian and motorists seem to be the commonly blamed sources of litter. Litter is unsightly, unhealthy and it can cause problems for wildlife and water quality; therefore litter in Ohio is illegal. Throwing items into a garbage can or recycling bin is a good habit.
Litter Prevention Activities
Grades K-1 Not All Bug’s Are Litter Bugs
Students will learn to pick up litter and throw items in the trash or recycling bin.
Blue Bug’s Beach Party by Virginia Poulet, art supplies, litter bags
Litter, trash, recycle
- Discuss how trash on the ground in unsightly and can cause problems for animals.
- Read Blue Bug’s Beach Party.
- Have students decorate a litter bag with markers, construction paper etc. The bags will be used to help Blue Bug when picking up litter in and around the school. The students will take the bags to become car litter bags
- Teach the song “Please Don’t Litter” to the tune of Frere Jacques.
Please don’t litter.
Please don’t litter.
Glass and tin, aluminum,
Paper, cardboard, plastic
Once again is fantastic!
Use again, use again!
- Take students around the building or on school grounds for a litter hunt. Remind if they find glass or something wet, that they should ask you to pick it up.
Dispose of the collected litter in the trash. Also, show litter that can be recycled
One or two class periods
Grades 2-3 Speak Out Again Litter
Students will practice picking up litter and create an anti-litter bulletin board.
Paper bags, collage material, glue scissors, The Great Trash Bash by Loreen Leedy
- Discuss what is litter and why people may litter.
- Create a list of why litter is bad for the environment.
- Decorate bags with collage materials.
- Read The Great Trash Bash by Loreen Leedy and share the pictures with the students.
- Go for a litter walk around school grounds and have children pick up clean and dry litter.
- Sort and classify the trash from the student’s litter bags by material type such as paper, plastic, wood, etc.
Use litter to create an anti-litter bulletin board.
1 ½ - 2 hours
Grades 4-6 Neighborhood Litter Map
Students will determine where litter exists near home and analyze and explain the most effective places to put trash containers.
Detailed street maps of the community (optional), paper, glue, newspaper bags or grocery bags
Students are to draw a map of their neighborhood or school grounds. Have students walk with parents or friends to find litter in their neighborhood. Depending upon sidewalks and public safety, you may want the students to use the school grounds. The students should mark on their map where litter was located and what the item was, if known. Have students note if there are any near by trash cans. If litter is clean and dry, have students collect it and bring it to class. Draw a generic neighborhood using entire blackboard and include the school. Tape the litter on the board in the similar places were the students found it. Try to use as much litter as the students brought in. For each piece ask: where did the litter come from such as a store, home, fast food? Was there a trash can in sight? What could have prevented the litter?
As a group, decide on the best places to put trash cans for public use. Examples are near stores, public gathering places, etc... Students should mark trash can locations on their neighborhood maps.
Two class periods and homework assignment
Have students create action steps on how they can to keep their neighborhood clean.
Web Resources for Litter Prevention