Teacher: Luz María Santamarta Lozano
Title of the Unit Collection and disposal of solid waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent
Course / Level 2º ESO
Collection and disposal of Solid Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent is a project aimed at 2nd ESO students, and it will be carried out throughout a term, devoting approximately twelve sessions of fifty-five minutes each (one session a week).
Why teaching sustainability? Because, as it is stated by the European Commission, sustainable development stands for getting "a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come", and society must take it up as a principle "guiding the many choices each citizen makes every day" that affect our lifestyles and consumer habits.
The unit will allow students to analyze and understand what the environment and recycling are, discriminate and describe recyclable materials, collection systems and disposal facilities and argue about human impact on the environment as well as the environmental benefits of recycling. Besides, students will be able to develop their language skills and cognitive processes by means of a series of varied activities, for which resources of different types have been looked for, allowing for scaffolding and support strategies. This also helps create more dynamic classrooms and the appropriate environment for effective learning, following the principles of differentiated instruction.
We want to offer students a multi-dimensional experience, varying abilities and developing an interest in reading, listening, speaking, writing, ITC skills and cooperative work. The didactic methods are focused on action and the subjects of learning are the students themselves because, thanks to these activities they can learn a language and the subject content in a lively and effective way developing different key competences: Competence in linguistic communication, competence in knowledge of and interaction with the physical world, data processing and digital competence, social and civic competence, learning-to-learn, autonomy and personal initiative.
This project aims to promote language and content learning caring about the students' different types of intelligence and needs. Therefore, activities have also been designed so that the degree of difficulty can be adjusted (depth, complexity, abstractness, challenge…) and flexible groups can be created in the classroom and tiered assignments, pre-assessment and ongoing assessment provided which helps teachers measure instruction and identify the students' needs, interests and readiness.
This unit also tries to develop a way of teaching and learning in a cooperative learning basis, taking into account the special educational needs of each group of learners, so that students with intellectual disabilities or learning difficulties can also participate.
Thus, sim tools have been chosen to introduce the lesson, such as brainstorming (What is Recycling? Why do we need to recycle? What can be made from recycled materials?- Brainstorm Worksheet) or picture discussion and debate about an image (Show a picture or group of pictures related to recycling to the classroom and answer questions orally. Describe what you see in the picture. What do you think about it? What comes to your mind when you see it? (Picture discussion, puzzle). In the case different pictures are shown, students can compare them (4pictures), task followed by the introduction of the specific vocabulary by a word bank or glossary containing words that would support ELLS as well as extension words for advanced students to challenge them. This word bank will be used as a support (Recycling vocabulary list and definitions). A graphic representation of vocabulary showing related words to read, repeat and pronounce will be created too or even other concept maps to be shown in an interactive or blackboard (graphic organizer). Crossword puzzles based on definitions of new words can also be used (crossword) or a worksheet containing different pictures illustrating diverse key concepts. Students must label them as well or join them to the right definitions or words (matching).
As for reading strategies and activities, students can draw a three-column chart (know, want to know, learned) and complete the first column jotting down what they already know about the recycling (KWL) and complete it before reading an informative text about recycling, which will be followed by a series of reading comprehension questions -these will be different according to the learners' abilities, skills and learning styles (Reading comprehension worksheet). The last task would be to complete the two other columns in the KWL chart.
Oral comprehension activities will follow, combining questions with discussion and different types of resources, such as videos and podcasts. (videos, podcast 1, podcast 2, fill in the gaps)
Writing skills will be developed by means of a writing guided activity, in which students are to follow prompts to complete and write a first and a final draft (suggested prompts) and share with partners discussing similarities and differences. An interview to partners and people outside school would be an optional activity too, where designing questions in class, asking in and outside school, analysing and summarising the answers would be the main tasks.
As far as collaborative work is concerned, a jigsaw activity is included, for which research work, posters and oral and digital presentations will be done to illustrate what the students have learnt. Sharing the information by each group with their classmates, all the pieces will be put together and the content jigsaw completed. To finish with, the unit will be supplemented by a lab activity that will require students be creative and design different items out of recycled materials (Suggested ideas for recycling). (See a more detailed version about resources).
I do hope you will like and enjoy the unit.