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BRAINSTORM SUSTAINABLE ACTIVITIES WITH MY GARBOLOGY

View this interactive website and launch into a discussion on what society can do to be more sustainable using the site's guiding questions.

grade level:
4-12
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Created by
Mylo Lam
Curriculum Developer and Researcher

MY GARBOLOGY overview

My Garbology is a flash-based website that uses appealing and well-designed animation and light interactivity to teach players how to deal with waste sustainably. 

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Experience breakdown

Garbology_1

My Garbology

Each animation sequence provides useful and often thought-provoking  information about how waste can be decreased or increased given the decision to reuse, recycle, compost, or throw away. These facts provide excellent topics of discussion, teachable moments, and platforms for activities.

Lesson Plan Overview

My Garbology is a great resource for a brainstorming activity because it asks provocative questions, but does not always offer an answer to those questions. With proper facilitation, students have to postulate their own answers and participate in a discussion with their peers to determine what are the most effective sustainable activities.

This activity is meant to be a lead-in to other activities we've developed for My Garbology, getting students to use their working knowledge of the world to answer questions and conduct further research, expanding what they know or what they thought they knew.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify sustainable practices and the dangers/harm of current waste management practices.
  • Evaluate one’s own waste management practices.

Lesson Steps

STEP 1.  Have students go through My Garbology, either as a class or in pairs, and take notes of what they find interesting or surprising during their experiences.

STEP 2. At the end of every video, My Garbology asks an open question about how students can become more sustainable. These are good brainstorming questions about several household items for students to expand on:

1. Banana: How can you reduce the amount of food you waste today?

2. Plastic Water Bottle: How can you reduce the number of plastic bottles you use?

3. T-shirt: How can you reduce the amount of new clothing you buy in the next three months?

4. Bag of Chips: How can you reduce the amount of trash you throw away this week?

5. Cell phone: How can you reduce the number of electronics you buy and throw away?

6. Plastic Bag: How can you reduce the number of plastic bags you use?

7. Another question that may be thought provoking: Why is it apparently so easy to simply throw everything away in a landfill?

STEP 3. As students consider and provide answers to these questions, the teacher should compile their responses. 

  • NOTE: This activity is a brainstorm exercise and easily leads in to any of the other facilitation ideas that we've developed for My Garbology:

standards

Common Core - English Language Arts

Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
topic discussion
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