Students will understand the ecological footprint concept and the difference between consumption and waste and begin to articulate the parallels between the two.
Time Required: 70 minutes (total) • Discussion (20 minutes) • Play the ecological footprint game (15 minutes) • Define Ecological Footprint (5 minutes) • Calculate Ecological Footprints (25 minutes) • Assignment (5 minutes)
• Understand the ecological footprint concept and complete the ecological footprint calculator individually.
• Understand the difference between consumption and waste and begin to articulate the parallels between the two.
• Brainstorm ways in which to reduce their footprints and understand why it is important to do so.
• Explain to their families the urgency of issues of consumption and utilize problem solving skills to discover ways in which to reduce their ecological footprints together, at home.
Discussion (20 minutes):
Come up with a working definition of consumption and waste as a class and have students take notes.
What is consumption?
-To consume is to expend, to use up, to purchase, to waste, to absorb or to destroy. Consumption is the act of consuming.
What is waste? An unusable or unwanted substance or material; to use, consume or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly; to lose energy, strength, weight or vigor, to become weak.
Discuss whether or not there is an order of importance (ie. Reduce(1), Reuse(2), Recycle(3)).
*Eco-Fact: Recycling one metric ton of paper saves 17 trees. It takes 40-95% less energy to produce goods with recycled aluminum, glass, plastic or paper than it does to manufacture them with raw materials.
Considering the above, why is recycling still a last resort? Reducing and reusing gets to the root of the problems with consumption. Ultimately, recycling is still consuming, where as reducing entails the least amount of consumption and reusing reduces consumption. Recycling should always be the last option but a good one nonetheless.
What are some problems with recycling? (Energy intensive process, there isn’t a strong enough market for recycled products, still consuming, etc.)
Play the ecological footprint game (Led By Teacher) (15 minutes)
-Draw 3 Earths on the Chalkboard
-Ask students to make a list of what they need to live their daily lives (e.g. air, wood, water, food
(meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, soil, nutrients, minerals, shelter, clothes etc.)
-Explain that when we use some of these resources some of it is wasted.
-Explain that for every 5 resource footprints, 2 waste footprints need to be added to the Earth.
-Ask students to count the number of waste footprints they each should get (e.g. a student with 10 items/resources from his/her list on what he/she needs to live, he/she should get 4 waste footprint cards.)
-Ask the students to stick their resource and waste footprint cards within the Earth circle - starting with the first circle.
-The first Earth should fill up until eventually you have moved on to the second and third Earth.
-This should simulate the FACT that if we continue consuming the way the average North American does, our Earth will not be able to sustain us and we would actually need 3 Earth's.
-After completing the game, move on to learning about what an ecological footprint is and then have the students do their own.
-Define Ecological Footprint (5 minutes):
-An ecological footprint measures the amount of the earth's surface necessary to produce all the energy and resources that each of us requires to live (food, clothing, housing, transportation) and to absorb all the (indirect and direct) wastes we produce. In other words, the ecological footprint is a measure of our resource use and waste production and its effect on the planet.
Calculate Ecological Footprints (25 minutes):
-Have the students calculate their own ecological footprint.
Depending on learning levels, decide which calculator they should compete i.e. adult version or detailed kid version.
-If students have trouble completing parts of the quiz because they do not know the information, have them complete it at home (when they do their assignment), so that their parents can help answer some of the more difficult questions. They can still play around with the calculator for the class session they just won’t be able to get correct results.
Assignment (Explained by Teacher) (5 minutes):
-Have the students explain and complete the calculator with someone in their family and then complete the attached worksheet. (Annex 1)
See Annex 2
Waste and Consumption Discussion: -Chalk/Chalkboard -Student notebooks Ecological Footprint Activity: - Footprints (couple of photocopies) (Annex 3) -Meter Stick (to measure Earth shapes. Should be about 46 cm x 46 cm) -Chalkboard -Chalk -Tape (to stick the feet on the Earth) Ecological Footprint Calculator: -Computers for each student or 2 students to 1 computer Assignment -Annex 1
Source:Earth Canada's EcoKids Program
Resource Type:Lesson Plan
Topic:Energy Use and Conservation, Recycling and Waste Management, Science and Technology,
Level:Intermediate / Middle
Grade: 4 5 6 7 8 9
Web Pages Used
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