Contributed by Les Asselstine.
Our students can and should take responsibility for litter on the schoolyard and in the neighbourhood. Here are some possible activities.
- Regularly collect litter from the schoolyard.
- Sort litter and classify it according to the rate at which it degrades.
- Classify litter by considering whether it might have been recycled or reused and whether it should have been refused.
- Consider safety concerns and safe practices related to picking up litter.
- Make up a list of questions that we have about litter and devise strategies for answering those questions.
- Identify community areas where students may safely assume responsibility for cleaning up litter.
- Solicit sponsors who will contribute funds in recognition of a clean-up project and conduct a class meeting to decide how to best use the money to improve the environment.
- Evaluate packaging on items normally purchased by students. Consider which packaging is most environmentally friendly.
- Whenever possible, connect ʻlitterʼ activities to mathematics or language. Consider data management, measurement, critical reading, or persuasive writing.
To ensure activities are appropriate, consider
• the age of your students,
• the ability of your students to understand the concepts related to the issue,
• the safety of your students,
• the skills that students may develop while conducting the activity, and
• the degree to which students might reasonably have control over the issue.