Starting my second day of Get Outside EDU we move towards a more environmental lesson. With Earth Day coming up and with my background in environmental studies I thought this would be a great lesson for your students. A few days ago I was working on my presentation for one of my last classes this semester and I started marking my book with post-it notes. I then went back through the book and took out the post-its I was not going to use. I looked back at my desk and there were ten post-its on my desk with only six having any words on it. Now, while I knew I could reuse and later recycle these post-its, I was thinking of all the paper I used, which was eight-teen post-its all together from beginning to end. I do not like to waste and even though we are moving more towards being paperless in classrooms and businesses these days, we still use a lot of paper. Trees produce between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of paper, Since a typical 500-sheet packet of the paper weighs around 5 pounds, that’s 10,000 to 20,000 sheets per tree, which doesn’t sound all that bad. However, the vast amount that gets wasted instead of recycled is usually over half of that amount. How does this get your class outside for their education you might ask?
1. Give the facts about what happens and then take your students outside and have them look at near by trees. Have them calculate about the amount of paper that would come from the trees around them. Then have them create a spreadsheet on those numbers.
2. Next, have them create a new look for the school using a art or drawing App to show what the school would look like if those trees were gone and what problems could occur as a result.
3. Have them do a final report on these findings and what can be done to avoid them.
Its a simple but effective lesson that will get your class outside but also have them look at the world around them.