Tehama County Educators Waste Awareness Curriculum

The lessons below meet the California State Content Standards. Tehama County Solid Waste Management Agency staff are happy to teach the following lessons to Tehama County students or prepare teachers with the necessary materials to conduct the lesson on their own. To schedule a lesson please contact the Recycling Program Analyst at (530) 528-1103 or email TehamaCountyRecycles@tehama.gov.

Harvest or Recycle For PaperGrades 4 &5

In this lesson, students will learn about how trees are harvested to make paper. They will participate in an experiment and make a recycled piece of paper from newspaper. Students will understand where paper comes from and the impacts of not recycling.

4Rs from Home Grade 4 & 5

Students will learn about the 4Rs hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot/Compost) by bringing in waste items from home that they will classify into groups according to the 4Rs hierarchy. They will justify why they placed each item into its category in writing and report their findings to the class.

Know Your Plastic! – Grade 4

Students conduct a series of tests to determine the properties of different types of plastics. They will audit the plastic waste generated in their homes, understand the positive and negative impacts of using plastic. Learn about barriers to recycling some forms of plastic and the ways in which plastic is remade into new products. Students will graph their results.

Renewable or Nonrenewable? – Grade 4

Students will define renewable, nonrenewable and perpetual resources, classify items as being made from renewable or nonrenewable resources and identify four ways to conserve fossil fuel, minerals, plants and animals.

Reuse and ChoicesGrades 4 &5

Students will participate in making group decisions for identifying the best choice among four alternatives for reusing items. The students will bring in items from home and list at least three ways to reuse each item.

Substitute for Safety! – Grade 4

Students will be able to accurately describe household hazardous and nonhazardous cleaning chemicals.  Students will have an understanding of household hazardous waste disposal in landfills.

Use LessGrades 4 &5

Students will define “reduce” and describe at least three ways to decrease the use of paper items. They will form a hypothesis and collect data using a survey to support or refute their hypothesis.

Vermi Fun-Grade 4

Students will demonstrate concepts of habitat and community and identify factors that may affect these. Students will investigate dependency of animals on habitat and interrelationships of plants and animals in a specific habitat. They will describe ways in which humans can change habitats and affect those changes on the plant and animals within these habitats.

Reuse and Save Wildlife-Grade 4

Students will: a) understand and explain how reducing waste conserves natural resources, and b) understand reducing landfill waste will conserve wildlife habitat.

Graphing Litter-Grade 4 & 5

In this lesson, students will collect litter found on school grounds and link this litter back to natural resources. They will classify the materials into different categories of waste and compare the types and percentages of litter found on school grounds to the amount of waste that is generated in Tehama County.

Reduce; Critical Thinking-Grade 4 & 5

Students will express their values about reducing waste. They will describe whether their values about reducing waste changed because of discussions with other students. Additionally, students will understand and apply the term “evidence”.

Picture This– Grade 5

Students will be describe changes in public attitudes toward recycling, reuse and new sanitary landfills compared to old style landfills. Scientific thinking processes include observing, communicating, ordering, and classifying. Students will learn single use items can be reused by turning an old material into a reusable shopping or grocery bag.

Products in Perspective-Grade 5

Students will (1) trace some products from their source to the consumer; (2) identify the impact those products and their processing have on landfills and the environment in general; and (3) recommend, with explanations, some consumer habits that could benefit landfills and the rest of the environment.

Packaging – Grade 4 & 5

In this lesson, students will learn how to reduce packaging waste by comparing products that have minimal or excessive packaging. Students will bring in examples of packaging from home and work in groups to create a poster depicting ways to reduce packaging waste.

Reuse or Recycle Hierarchy-Grade 4 & 5

Students will compare the amount of energy and natural resources saved by reusing a plastic bottle before it is recycled. They will discuss different energy sources and inputs required to manufacture and transport a plastic product. Lastly, they will list three benefits of reusing something before it is disposed of.

Reuse, Sewing New Things-Grade 4 & 5

In this lesson, students will learn about the natural resources used to make fabric and use their math skills to make a quilt square from reused fabric scraps or old magazines. In reusing fabrics and paper for new things, we minimize landfill impacts.

Exploring Our Planet– Grade 5

Students will recognize that the earth is the source of everything we make, use, and throw away. They will learn there in no such thing as “away” and differentiate between natural resources and human-made items and their associated life cycles.

Recognize Hazardous Routes-Grade 5

Identify ways people dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW). Identify the impacts these   disposal methods have on health and the environment. Students suggest safe alternative management routes for household hazardous wastes. Learn vocabulary: poisonous, toxic, hazardous, dangerous, flammable, ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and irritant.  Understand that the words: “caution,” “warning,” and “danger” have special meaning and that children should never play with certain types of household products.

Potato Packaging Waste-Grade 5

Students will compare and contrast the price per pound of products to the amount of waste they generate. They will also analyze the positive and negative aspects of packaging.

Activity Landfill Depot-Grade 5 & 6

Students will be able to accurately construct a model of a sanitary landfill, identify the parts of a landfill, explain their function and understand a trash trail. Students will quantify an average person’s daily waste and understand the importance of minimizing waste that must be landfilled. Scientific thinking processes include observing, communicating, ordering, and classifying.

Packaging in Math-Grade 6

The students will be able to examine product packaging to determine whether packaging is excessive and whether it is recyclable. The students will be able to identify waste reduction techniques.

Landfill Gas-Grade 6

Students will know environmental and external factors that affect individual and community health. Know ways local, state, federal and international efforts to prevent solid waste contamination/air pollution). Understand global development and environmental issues. Understand the possible impact that present conditions and patterns of consumption, production and population growth might have on the future.

Eggsportation-Grade 6

The students will design, construct, and test a toxic waste transportation vehicle. Students will understand there are appropriate methods of identifying potential hazards and communicating them to others, which include placarding for transported materials (DOT/DPS regulations) and safety data sheets (SDS) for chemical constituents (OSHA regulations).

HHW and your Waste Stream-Grade 6

Household hazardous wastes must be placed somewhere that is safe for the environment. As a result of this activity students will demonstrate an understanding of environmental consequences, particularly the effects on surface water, and the water table, from unsafe household hazardous waste disposal habits or practices. They will be able to identify where persistent household hazardous wastes go when they are thrown out. Additionally, they will be able to state the proper disposal method of different household hazardous wastes.

Organic Matters-Grade 6

The students will be able to recognize the presence of organic matter in soils from their compost and recognize which soil sample contains the highest concentration of organic matter. By composting, a gardener reduces the amount of material in the landfill, and a gardener who uses compost does not need to use potentially damaging chemical fertilizers to feed the soil.

Understanding Leachate-Grade 6

The students will design, construct, and test a landfill plastic liner and determine if it can be made to hold water (leachate).

Create It– Grade 6

Students will reuse discarded items to create a working model to understand and explain how reducing waste conserves natural resources. Students will also learn how reducing landfill waste conserves natural places.

Paper In Math-Grade 6

The students will identify recycling as an alternative to disposal of paper. A method for determining the cost-effectiveness of a recycling program will be described.


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