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Investigating Garbage in Grade One

“Imagine children who have developed a caring relationship with the natural world, who have been given the time and opportunity to experience it in meaningful ways. Imagine children who have a growing commitment to protect water, air, plants, and wildlife because they understand that these occupy an important place within the ecosystem. Imagine students who, through the Inquiry process, gain the confidence and sense of empowerment to effect change that will benefit both their communities and the environment” (David W. Orr,, 2012).
The Grade One class has taken a keen interest in garbage, compost, and recycling since the beginning of the school year. They will build on this interest during their Science Inquiry Project, as they observe two bins of waste. One bin will be mixed waste and the other will be compost only. The student’s reactions to the topic have varied greatly, with emotions have ranging from disgust, to shock and concern.

“Garbage, ew!”  “It’s so gross!” (Sophia)

“We can’t go anywhere without garbage.” (Aryan)

“I saw a chair thrown out! I didn’t know we could do that. But cans can make toys” (Daniel)

The Grade One students will continue their garbage exploration as they identify the kinds of waste produced [and] plan and carry out a classroom course of action for minimizing waste, explaining why each action is important. (Ontario Curriculum, Science and Technology, Gr. One, page 48).

“If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.” ~ Kofi Annan

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