Title: Litter Pick
Activity: Children investigate the litter found within the school environment.
Any graphing program which allows the creation of bar and pie charts or a spreadsheet.
What to do: In groups and wearing disposable gloves, children collect litter dropped in various areas of the school environment, inside and out.
They do a straight-forward count of litter dropped in the various locations and enter
the information into a graphing program or a spreadsheet so they can make appropriate
comparisons. They can then form questions:
eg. Why is more litter found in the infants playground/by the school gate? ... and then hypothesise...
eg. We think this is because parents use this area as well as children.
Litter picks can then be done at specific times of the day to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
Extension activities: The items of litter are then sorted to identify the types of litter found in each place.
The children then form questions that lead to hypotheses and the creation of a database using appropriate field names. Questions can then be asked leading to higher order searching and sorting of information.
Children could also:
Trace a piece of litter from the place where it was found to its source. Present the 'story' through a multimedia authoring program eg Hyperstudio, Illuminatus.
Collect the 'junk mail' that comes to the house. Sort it using a variety of criteria. These activities can have real value in that they could lead to a positive change in people's behaviour.
IT Capability: Handling Information level 2 or 3. Level 4 and 5 can be achieved with more complex lines of enquiry.