The View from the Classroom Window

Monday, June 7, 2010

Plastic in Our World: Day One

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this first day of our science unit studying plastic!

I will be keeping each day's assignment short and sweet, and it is up to you parents to decide how much or how little you want to invest in each day's exploration--but might I encourage you to consider comitting to 15 minutes a day for the next two weeks? You can learn a LOT in 15 minutes, and some of what you learn might positively impact your family and your world forever!


With your kids
1. Briefly explain what plastic is. Of course a quick Google search will give you lots of fodder, but those speaking in generalities, the key ideas are that:
--the term plastic means it can be molded
--all plastics are man-made (compare to natural materials)

2. Go on a plastics hunt. If you have several children, have them each pick a different room of the house to explore. They can list or just point for you out all the different objects made of plastic. Talk briefly about how/why plastic is used in some of the examples, esp. compared to natural materials. (For example, is your milk jug plastic? Why or why not? Why might plastic be serving your family well in this example? Is there anything else that could be used to hold your milk? How does it compare to the plastic jug in its service?)

3. Start saving your plastic. Dedicate a big (plastic! ; ) trash bag or box to collecting all the plastic you will throw out this week. Every time you would throw out or recycle a piece of plastic, instead add it to your collection. (I recommend rinsing out sticky food items, so your collection does not get gross!) Collect in the same bag for one week. Then start a new bag/box for week 2. Our family saved our plastic for one month, and it was really eye-opening, so consider doing that. But 2 weeks is still plenty to get you and your family aware of how you use/consume plastic.

Website of the day: Fake Plastic Fish

This is the site from which I got the inspiration and much of my information for this unit--peruse at will!

1 comment:

McNabb Clan said...

this is such a creative and practical idea! keep em coming!!