E.T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEARNING E-32
Title: EVERY LITTER BIT HURT
Author: Sarah Otis
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Grade Level: 3
3.Carrying Capacity 2.Social Studies
8.Values and Attitudes
11 .Individual Acts
Students will collect, bury, exhume and examine a collection of litter to observe and
record nature's decomposing process in order to distinguish organic biodegradable as well
as non-biodegradable wastes.
The amount of solid waste each person generates is astounding. By observing how
nature deals with waste, a consciousness of personal disposal habits can be directed to
conserving, recycling and to avoid littering.
Assortment of trash/garbage; digging tool
In the classroom, examine, label and list on a chart each item to be buried and the date.
Using a shovel, spade or garden digger, a hole should be dug at least six inches deep.
The trash specimens should be placed in a clockwise fashion along the bottom in the
same order as they are listed on the chart. Be sure the dirt is loosely packed over the
hole. Give the elements two days before re-examining the hole's contents. When
exhuming, carefully remove the cover soil, watch for scavengers at work. Be sure to date
and chart the progress of decomposition for each item. Recover the hole and follow the
schedule for repeating the process until all the organic trash has "disappeared" and that
which is not biodegradable becomes obvious.
Special Notes: 1.Mark and protect the experimental burial area
2. If the experiment is conducted during dry spell, water the area periodically
3. Define for children the words:
EVERY LITTER BIT HURTS
A. OBSERVATION RECORD
DATE LITTER BURIED
DATES OF EXHUMING / OBSERVATION
----------- 1.--------- 2--------------3--------------
SUGGESTED ITEMS DESCRIBE APPEARANCE AFTER
2 DAYS WEEK 3 WEEKS
Zip Top From Can
B. 1.Which items were the first to decompose?
2. After 3 weeks, which items looked like they would decompose?
3. After 3 weeks, which items showed no signs of decomposition?
4.From what you have observed, what kind of problems does this make
for communities in taking care of trash and garbage?