Climate Change and Sustainability
The impact of climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges to face the world. Global warming has resulted in a shift in weather patterns, changing conditions on earth.
There has been an increasing demand from the earth’s population on the planet’s natural resources. This has resulted in an increase in the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. There are a number of finite resources which are set to run out if people continue to pressure the earth’s resources. Recycling, reuse and movement towards reliance on renewable energy sources are all means of dealing with the growing climate change crisis.
That all sounds very serious but what can we do as individuals to help in the fight against climate change. Firstly we need to recognise which materials can be recycled and to do that we need to understand their properties.
Key Stage:KS1 Science - Everyday materials
KS2 Science- Knowledge and Understanding
Overview:This lesson plan can be used to:
Start a study of the properties of various materials and which are sustainable and which finite.
Develop understanding of which materials can be recycled as part of a school recycling initiative.
Start a study of the impact of climate change on the environment.
Everyday items found in the home are made of a variety of different materials. These materials all have different properties which make them suitable for their purpose. The proper recycling or reuse of these items requires the ability to identify both these materials and their properties.
Properties of materials
All materials used to make things we use can be grouped together by their properties. So for example we could put all the materials together that conduct electricity or all the materials that are attracted to a magnet. On a simpler level we can group together all the hard and soft materials or all the rough and smooth objects.
Suggested Classroom Activity
Using the worksheet students can have a go at identifying what everyday items are made from and their properties.
Ask students to identify what material each item is made from and list the properties.
Download worksheet one.pdf
Suggested Classroom Activity cont
Ask students in small groups to complete the sentences on worksheet 2 using the words provided.
Once each group has completed the sentence, ask the students to create their own example where the blanks are also words from the list.
Download worksheet two.pdf
Now check your answers against ours and see if you agree. Once you have done that why not try creating your own examples using an everyday object in the classroom where the blanks are also words from the list. Test your sentence on your friends.
Understanding the properties of materials and being able to group similar materials together can help us with recycling.
Download worksheet two answers.pdf
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Reduce, by using less material and keeping things longer. Reuse by finding new uses for old materials. Recycle by putting materials back into the manufacturing of new products. The causes and impact of climate change can appear overwhelming for individuals to tackle but the 3 Rs can be used to manage and handle waste to help prevent environmental damage. Have a close look at what you throw out and discuss what could be improved.
The work of Fiona Campbell provides an example of creative recycling of discarded objects and materials. She is a sculptor who explores themes of the environment in her work. Examples of recycled items within her work include electrical wire, textiles, string, wire and plastics. Watch this video showing Fiona at work, exploring why she chooses these materials over more traditional options like clay and bronze.
The earth provides the foundation of life, supplying the natural resources of water, air, timber, rocks, soils and plants. The growing population of the planet is resulting in increasing demand upon resources. Some of these resources are renewable, for example energy from the sun. Others like coal are non-renewable meaning a limited amount exists on earth and this cannot be replaced. These resources are called finite.
Ask students to identify which energy sources are renewable and which are finite from the list on worksheet 3.
Download worksheet three.pdf