Author:
marcella koffler
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Level:
Upper Primary
Tags:
Ocean Garbage Floats, Ocean Garbage Patches, Ocean Pollution and Marine Life, Plastic Pollution in the Ocean, Recycling
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Language:
English

Education Standards (30)

Ocean Garbage Patches

Ocean Garbage Patches

Overview

In this project-based learning unit, students take responsibility for their learning through active, hands-on engagement, while the teacher acts as a facilitator.  Students will learn about ocean garbage patches, the cause, its impact, recycling, and solutions to reduce them. Students will share what they learned to help raise awareness of this environmental issue and promote recycling by creating posters for their school and writing scripts to be read during morning announcements. 

This project requires background knowledge and understanding of the water cycle and the importance of the ocean to the water cycle.  Students should know how to use email and some digital format for presentations.

Project Overview

Learning Objectives:
Students will learn to use various digital tools while learning how to conduct research, create presentations and posters, and how to work collaboratively with others; develop speaking and communication skills.  

Project Overview:

  • Students will research a question related to ocean garbage patches.

  • In small groups, students will create a multimodal digital presentation incorporating their research. 

  • Each group will present and teach their classmates about their related topic.  

  • Students will share their findings by creating posters to inform others about ocean garbage patches, its impact on marine life, recycling, and their fundraiser.*
  • Students will work in pairs to create scripts to be read during morning announcements about ocean garbage patches, recycling, and promote their fundraiser.*  

*In this project students held a fundraiser to support the Ocean Cleanup.  This is an optional extension that promotes civic engagement.

Technology Used:

  1. Goformative 

  2. Clever

  3. Google  

  4. Microsoft Office 365, MS Teams, MS PowerPoint

  5. Canva

Common Core State Standards

RI.5.9  Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. 

W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

        W.5.2A. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

 W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

        W.5.3A. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. 

W.5.7  Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. 

W.5.8  Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources. 

W.5.9  Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

SL.5.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.5.4  Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

SL.5.5  Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.  

SL.5.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

Lesson One

Please note: This project was conducted over six weeks. An optional extension activity of fundraising will add two - three weeks.
• Approximately four weeks were allocated for student research and group collaboration on the design and implementation of their presentations.  During this portion of the project, students worked on computers and with their groups three to four times a week for one, 45 minute class period.  You may not need as much time. We also had some technical difficulties on several days.
• Two hours were needed for the group presentations. 
• One week was dedicated to learning Canva.com and creating posters. 
• Three 45 minute class periods were used to create, edit, and practice scripts.

The lessons for this project were created using Google slides and can be accessed through this link (copy and paste the link below and all links into browser if necessary) https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1v6w4Ly-gxSx6JPRe3oM8aL5ICY6afr2xAUna93l38aw/edit?usp=sharing

Page numbers refer to the slide presentation.

 

Lesson One: (45 minutes)
Standard: 5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. 

Water cycle review (pages 2-7) 10 minutes.

What are the three states of water?

Describe the water cycle. How does water keep changing state as it goes through the water cycle?

Related image

Image from https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/water-cycle and https://www.ck12.org/book/ck-12-fifth-grade-science/section/2.1/

Optional video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO9tT186mZw 


Describe our water sources

Freshwater - rivers and streams, lakes, aquifers, wetlands, rain water, ponds

Salt water - oceans

Why are oceans important? (pages 8-10).

Oceans cover 97% of the earth and supply most of the water to the water cycle.

https://www.ck12.org/book/ck-12-fifth-grade-science/section/2.1/


Ocean Garbage Patches 

Introduce ocean garbage patches. Briefly define what they are, how they are formed, and their impact on marine animals (pages 11-25).
Ocean garbage patches are formed by plastic in the ocean that are too light to sink.  The plastic is dragged by ocean currents into ocean vortexes that accumulate. There are five giant ocean garbage patches. The largest one is called the Great Pacific Garbage located between California and Japan (page 31).

Visit NASA site to see perpetual ocean (page 24).

Marine animals are getting caught in plastic and drowning. They are also eating plastic and feeding it to their young. Plastic does not disintegrate but breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics. 


Watch Greta Thunberg’s address to United Nations

Transcript: Greta Thunberg's Speech At The U.N. Climate Action Summit https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763452863/transcript-greta-thunbergs-speech-at-the-u-n-climate-action-summit

 

Assign water cycle quiz, created using GoFormative, link below, use Code FUDPQW https://goformative.com/formatives/5dba5557e03749725216ef85 or use attachment.

Lesson Two with mini lessons (Steps One and Two) Research, Group Presentations

Lesson Two: (45 minutes)

Review what are ocean garbage patches (pages 25-34, video on page 28 optional). 


Let’s help save our oceans!
Discuss the project and review the different steps (page 35-36). 

Step one: Students will work in small groups for steps one and two, research and collaborate.  Everyone will do research. Students will share their findings with their group. The group will decide what information to include in their presentation.

Topics to be assigned

  1. What are ocean garbage patches?

  2. How do they impact marine life

  3. How do they impact human life

  4. How does garbage, plastic, get into the ocean?

  5. What is recycling? How do plastics get recycled? Students assigned this topic will conduct a brief survey to learn about the recycling habits of their classmates and the other fifth grade classes at home.  They will create their own questions and compile the data to present to the class and school. 

 The purpose of the research is to learn about your topic to teach your classmates.

 Students will work in small groups to create a digital presentation. 

Step two: Teach your classmates about your topic using PowerPoint. 

Step three: Create posters using Canva. Share your findings of the ocean garbage patches and recycling. Include information about the sale of bracelets to support ocean cleanup.

Step four: Create scripts to be read during morning announcements. Educate the school about the ocean garbage patches and recycling. Include information about the sale of bracelets to support ocean cleanup.

Step five: Fundraise by selling bracelets for a nonprofit organization that either saves marine animals or cleans the ocean. Research organizations. Students vote on an organization. Discuss a slogan and hashtags (we decided on #oceanrescue which was on many websites.

Step six: Donate profits.  

Step One
Research and collaborate. (Total time, approximately 4 weeks.) 

Standards: W.5.8  Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources. RI.5.9  Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. W.5.7  Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. SL.5.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Students spent most of their time conducting independent research on the internet and working with their groups to create their presentations. During this time the teacher circulates and supports students by helping them with technical or research questions. 

The amount of time you chose to give students for research and collaboration depends on several factors including the availability of computers and internet access in the homes of all your students, the dependability of the technology in school, and students’ prior experience conducting research and collaborating with others.  Also, this class used MS PowerPoint, however, there are a lot of free and interesting options available (page 42). Adobe Spark is a great option. The premium upgrade is available free to schools. 

 

The following mini-lessons were conducted during the Step One phase. 

Mini-lesson 1
Research Process (page 41, 10 minutes)

Standards: W.5.9  Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. SL.5.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Review the steps in the research process (page 37)

  • Find at least 5 articles and videos to use. You can use the links to articles loaded in Clever or do your own research using Google. 
  • Think about keywords and phrases to use for your search on Google.
  • Share information with your group using MS Teams. 
  • Read the articles. Take notes. Use the information in your presentation. Use your own words, do not copy the text.
  • Cite your resources by copying the URL address.
  • Work with your group to create a presentation. Include short videos and images.
  • Online articles and video links were loaded into Clever.com, a site used by the school.  Titles had to be abbreviated which limited its usefulness. Also, many of the sites were blocked.  Most students found their own articles using Google.
  • Students will use Office365 for email, MS Teams for messaging, and the Share feature in PowerPoint to collaborate and edit their presentation.
 

Discuss options for text on rubber bracelets the class will sell as a fundraiser. 

Give students time to start their research.

Mini-lesson 2
Guidelines for creating and presenting your presentation (page 46, 10 minutes)

Standards: W.5.9  Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. SL.5.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly. SL.5.4  Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. SL.5.5  Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.  

  • Make sure everyone in your group has contributed at least one slide. 

  • Read through your presentation to make sure you are not repeating information. 

  • Everyone must participate.

  • Use bullet points—short sentences, not paragraphs

  • Tell the class what you know, follow an outline. Don’t read from the slide. They are a guide.

  • Include images, videos, and links if they add meaning.

  • Include solutions such as information on ocean cleanup organizations and/or recycling.

  • Include an exit question on the last slide for students to answer.

Step Two: Group presentations (about two hours).

Standards: SL.5.4  Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. SL.5.5  Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.  

Students were given time to practice their presentations with their group and in front of the class once before the final presentation.  Parents and guardians were invited to the presentation. Students were encouraged to take notes during each presentation and ask questions afterward. Cookies were served.

Reflection assignment: Students wrote a reflection about the process of working with others in a group, creating a presentation, and what they had learned so far in this unit. 

Oral Presentation Rubric from Readwritethink was used http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/printouts/30700_rubric.pdf 

Lesson Three (Step Three) Create Posters

Step Three: Students Create Posters (approximately three to four 45 minute class periods)

Students will share their findings by creating posters that will hang throughout the school. 

Standards: W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. W.5.2A. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Lesson Three: How to use Canva.com (one 45 minute class period)

I taught a few basic features of Canva demonstrating using the program (pages 53-69 uses screen grabs of program page). However, I found it was better to allow students to explore the program on their own at their own pace.

How to signup for Canva.

How to choose a design. We did a custom size, 11 X 17 inches since the school printer could print this paper size.

How to find an image using Canva files or “uploads” from the desktop.

How to add text 

How to save manually if necessary.

Students emailed their posters to the classroom teacher for printing.

Lesson Four (Steps Four and Five) Script Writing

Script Writing to be read over the PA during morning announcements (approximately three 45 minute class periods)

 

Standards: W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. W.5.3A. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. SL.5.4  Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. SL.5.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation. Students will write a short script with a partner to share their findings on ocean garbage patches and recycling. Scripts will be read during the morning announcements.


Lesson Four (10 minutes, pages 70-71)

Directions: Pick a partner you are comfortable working with. You want to write down everything in the script you are going to say and practice because you will be reading it live during the morning announcement. You have to speak clearly and fluently. 
Things you can include in your script

  • Explain the purpose of the announcement, discuss cause and effect, solutions

    1. Plastics in our oceans

    2. Killing marine life

    3. Impact on our life

    4. Solution, recycling

  • Fundraiser

    1. Selling rubber bracelets.

    2. Proceeds go to The Ocean Cleanup (https://theoceancleanup.com/).

    3. Cost $2

  • Location and time 5M selling bracelets (students sold during different lunch periods and went to classrooms).

  • Script should not be longer than 2 minutes.

  • Key elements: intro, something catchy—grabs the audience’s attention; information is short but impactful; problem and solution, individual recycling; (optional) buy a bracelet.

Optional Components, Fundraising (Step Six)

Fundraising. If your class decides to sell bracelets make sure to remind students to only sell to friends and family outside of school. Students must NOT sell in their neighborhood without an adult!

Rubber bracelets were ordered from https://www.wrist-band.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAis3vBRBdEiwAHXB29AekZd3pHPmavjwuR_VUsHt-nBt1H56Fkjx1CtKpv3333yxhJo4WsBoCM00QAvD_BwE

However, there are many options available in a range of colors with your choice of message. Include a deadline for bracelet sale completion.

Create a card with a class phototo to send with the donation to The Ocean Cleanup (https://theoceancleanup.com/). 

Create an audio card.  Allow any student to record a short message. Students should write their messages in advance and practice.  Students can also simply say their name.   • Take a class photo in front of the school.

References

C K-12 (n.d.). Water on Earth.  Retrieved from 

        https://www.ck12.org/book/ck-12-fifth-grade-science/section/2.1/

PBLWorks (n.d.). Buck Institute for EducationRetrieved from 

         https://www.pblworks.org/what-is-pbl

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (n.d.). Precipitation Education. Retrieved from https://www.nasa.gov/about/index.html

NPR (9.23.2019). Transcript: Greta Thunberg's Speech At The U.N. Climate Action 

         Summit. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763452863/transcript-greta-              thunbergs-speech-at-the-u-n-climate-action-summit

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.   
         Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2019). Retrieved
         from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/

Readwritethink (n.d.). Oral Presentation Rubric. Retrieved from 
         http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/printouts/30700_rubric.pdf