Trash Unit

The Sunflower Trash Unit addresses the following questions:

1. What is trash made of?

2. What happens to trash?

3. How much trash do we throw away?

4. How and why do we recycle?

5. How can we throw out less?

The unit begins with an activity that helps children recognize that trash is made of different materials, which are disposed of in different ways. Children then explore what happens to trash in a landfill. They investigate how long it takes different materials to decompose, and learn what leaching and groundwater are.

Children then do an investigation of how much trash they throw away at home each week. Based on their results, they estimate how much trash is thrown away by everyone living in their city. Children also generate ideas on how to reduce trash at home and in school and invent creative ways to re-use waste materials.

The unit concludes with children writing skits about reducing the amount of trash and recycling, which they act out using paper stick puppets. Children are also encouraged to organize a community recycling and clean-up activity.

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