Community Clean Up
Subject: Language Arts
Grade: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Students identify community areas filled with trash and work together to clean those areas.
- research community areas that have problems with trash.
- develop a plan for removing the trash.
- work together to remove trash.
Earth Day, trash, litter, community, clean up, environment
- local newspaper and/or community or municipal Web sites
- pens or pencils
- large plastic trash bags
- chalkboard and chalk
- computer(s) with word processing and Internet access (optional)
- camera (optional)
This project should be completed over several lessons. The teacher decides the length of time needed to complete the project; the length of the project depends on the ages and abilities of the students. If required by your school, students need parents' permission to participate in the project.
- Discuss public areas in your community that have problems with trash or litter, such as vacant lots, parks, riverbanks. Write students' ideas on the board.
- Have students research information about those areas, using local newspapers and/or community or municipal Web sites. If Internet access is not available, have students use library sources to learn about the areas.
- Have students compile the information they found into a brief report. Discuss the findings.
- Have students discuss steps they should take to organize a clean up, such as contacting the appropriate agency or owner of the area, getting permission for the clean up, gathering clean-up materials, such as trash bags and gloves.
Clean-up day at the site: Distribute the clean-up materials. Organize students into small groups to remove trash from different areas of the site.
Suggestion: If a camera is available, take "before" and "after" pictures of the area.
Extension: Have students write their reactions to or feelings about the project.
- Idea 1: Have students clean litter from areas of the school building or school grounds.
- Idea 2: Have students clean yards for elderly or disabled residents in your community.
Evaluate students' participation in the project.
Lesson Plan Source