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The More You Know: Designing Creative Solutions for Waste Reduction and Recycling

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Keywords: STEAM, Environment, STEM, Science, Technology
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Science, Life Science, Earth Science, Speech and Language
Grades 2 through 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Catholic School, North Wales, PA
Planned By: Lisa Bull
Original Author: Lisa Bull, North Wales
• Introductory Lesson: Guest Speaker
o In order to improve the current system used at MMR, students need to understand how it is currently being run and what resources they have available to them. A speaker from J.P. Mascaro & Sons, the company responsible for the collection of all trash and recycling at MMR, will visit the classroom. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions, receive feedback on the current status of their drafted plan, and seek advice from their guest speaker about the best ways to improve it. With the guidance of their teacher and J.P. Mascaro & Sons, students will be able to organize an effective plan for the collection and storage of all waste and recycling.
• Activity One: Redraft for Approval
o Students work together to rewrite their proposed plan, making sure that it meets the codes of Montgomery Township and aligns with the procedures of J.P. Mascaro & Sons. Their teacher will check over their work to ensure that it matches the codes of the municipality – students revise if necessary. Once it is complete, they will send it to their principal for the final approval.
• Activity Two: Get to Work
o Now that their plan has been approved, students will begin putting their plan into action! The custodial staff and their teacher will help them map out the best locations for bins around the school and in the classrooms. They will work on an identification system to differentiate between the different types of waste and recycling by creating signage for easy reference.
• Activity Three: Pick Up and Storage
o Students will create an organized system for the daily collection and storage of all waste and recycling bins from every classroom. They’ll coordinate jobs and write a schedule that can be shared with administration and teachers.
• Activity Four: Spread the Word
o Students will separate into groups, each working together to create a visual presentation (storyboard) that demonstrates how to recycle using their new system for waste and recycling management.
• Activity Five: The Difference Between a PSA and a Commercial
o Students will learn about the history and purpose of the Public Service Announcement. They’ll view many examples together…..Smokey Bear, Crash Dummies/Seatbelt, More You Know Campaign, etc. Students will also research the power of a slogan. Using this information, they’ll identify the steps for developing their PSA and jumpstart the brainstorming process for each scene needed.
• Activities Six and Seven: The Creative Writing Process
o Student groups will develop scripts for a PSA that they can use to educate the rest of the school of the new waste and recycling collection program they have developed. Their scripts should highlight the importance of recycling and reducing the amount of waste that is produced daily while also clearly outlining the new system they’ve designed for the school. Students will rely on their research from the beginning of the unit in order to provide facts/statistics about pollution and motivate others to do their part in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
• Activity Eight: Rehearsal with Broadcasting Club
o Student groups will rehearse their PSA and provide feedback to each other. This will ensure that the presenters are knowledgeable and speak with clarity.
o With the guidance of their teacher and members of the school’s Broadcasting Club, the students will also be working with the studio equipment to ensure that everything is set and ready to go for the final video to be shot.
• Activity Nine: Lights, Camera, Action!
o Students give PSA in groups in front of the camera live broadcast with teacher watching and grading students based on:
 Knowledge of recycling procedure
 Clarity when speaking
 Teamwork – all students must have a clear and equal role in the production
 Ease of understanding the procedure
• Lesson Closure
o Students will watch each group’s clips and give feedback on the positives of each group’s presentation and ways to improve. Teacher closes with a new lesson where the students will implement the recycling program into everyday life at the school.
9. Evaluation / Assessment
• Students will be evaluated to see if they achieved the intended goal of the lesson in the following ways:
o Script development – it should demonstrate knowledge of recycling procedures and showcase the student’s ability to report on a topic or text, tell a story with appropriate facts and relevant, and include descriptive details
o Production of the PSA – student demonstrates command of the conventions of standard English when speaking
o Teamwork – all students must have a clear and equal role
o Content - ease of understanding the procedures for waste and recycling management locally and within the school
Students will need broadcast studio equipment in order to give a public service announcement broadcast to all members of the school about the proper way to recycle. The PSA will then need to be readily available for teachers, students, and faculty to access in classes later.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The students will:
o Evaluate current operations of the waste management program at MMR and identify the ways in which it needs to be improved.
o Design/innovate a waste and recycling collection system that addresses the issues previously identified with an assessment/study of MMR’s waste stream.
o Create a PSA/commercial that educates students, faculty, and staff about the newly designed collection system.
Materials: Whiteboards, Video Cameras, DVD Camcorder, Projectors, Projector Screens, Microphones, PA Systems, Electronics, Televisions, Art Tools, Video Tools, CDs and DVDs, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Computer Accessories, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Elementary, Middle, Podcasting, Keyboarding, Authoring and Publishing, Slideshow, Worksheets, Timeline, Screen Capture, Animation, Music, Sound Libraries, Internet Services, Cause and Effect, Speech and Language