Plastic in the Ocean

Plastic in the Ocean is a resource aimed at educating learners about the negative environmental effects of plastic. Over the course of four lessons, the learners are taught what plastic is, why it is bad for the environment and what can be done to address this environmental problem. As well as fun and interactive lessons the learners are given the opportunity to explore the local area collecting litter/plastic, putting what they have learnt in the classroom lessons into context with the real-world.

Learning outcomes

  • Science – Earth Materials
    • SCN 2-17a: Having explored the substances that make up Earth’s surface, I can compare some of their characteristics and uses.
  • Science – Topical Science
    • SCN 2-20a: Through research and discussion, I have an appreciation of the contribution that individuals are making to scientific discovery and invention and the impact this has made on society.
    • SCN 2-20b: I can report and comment on current scientific news items to develop my knowledge and understanding of topical science.
  • Social Sciences – People, Place and the Environment
    • SOC 2-08a: I can discuss the environmental impact of human activity and suggest ways in which we can live in a more environmentally responsible way.
  • Technologies – Technology Developments in Society and Business
    • TCH 2-06a: I can analyse how lifestyles can impact on the environment and Earth’s resources, and can make suggestions about how to live in a more sustainable way.
    • TCH 2-07a: I can make suggestions as to how individuals and organisations may use technologies to support sustainability and reduce the impact on our environment.
  • Expressive Arts – Art and Design
    • EXA 2-03a: I can create and present work that shows developing skill in using the visual elements and concepts.
    • EXA 2-05a: Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities within art and design.

In this resource

  • Lesson presentations
    • Lesson 1: Plastic and Issues with Plastic
    • Lesson 2: Microplastic and Plastic in the Ocean
    • (Lesson 3 is the outdoor activity so a lesson presentation is not required)
    • Lesson 4: Recap & Taking Action against Plastic Waste
  • Teacher’s guide:
    • Teacher’s guide: a guide to carrying out the set of lessons, including when to show the presentations, details of the outdoor plastic/litter collecting activity, and tips for delivering the lessons successfully.

This resource was created as part of the GeoScience Outreach Course which is a 4th year undergraduate course in the School of GeoSciences aiming to provide students with the opportunity to develop their own science communication and engagement project.

This resource was originally designed to be implemented in Queensferry Primary School, located in South Queensferry, Edinburgh. The lessons were taught to Primary 5, Second Level.

Author: Hannah Newberry, adapted by Andrew Ferguson.

This resource is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and has been made available on TES Connect which hosts a range of lesson materials for early years, primary, secondary, and special needs teaching.

Go to Plastic in the Ocean on TES to view and download this resource


Cover image by Wild0ne on Pixabay is licensed under the Pixabay License.