Stewardship—Pollution Solutions

Summary: Students come up with “good manners” stewardship solutions to reduce waste and pollution at home, school, and in the local community.

Concepts to teach: Personal behavior, reduce-reuse-recycle, modeling, stewardship

Goals: Students share their knowledge about solutions to pollution with peers and adults at school and at home. They implement positive changes that have a lasting impact on the culture at school/home.

SS.05.GE.07, SS.05.GE.08

Specific Objectives:

  1. Brainstorm ways to reduce and reuse plastics and other waste materials in school.
  2. Use knowledge to make improvements to classroom/school recycling protocols.
  3. Share knowledge with the community.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • Cleaning up– This lesson plan from the Learning to Give website uses the children’s book The Wartville Wizard to show a humorous example of a ‘solution’ to pollution.
    • A good introduction to “solutions”
    • Turn The Wartville Wizard story into a skit, but have the students add more realistic solutions at the end. Tailor the examples and solutions so they apply to the classroom/school.
  • Garbage Gone Wild lesson plan from Kids Science Challenge: KSC Lesson Plans—Students think of ways to reduce loose litter and communicate their ideas to the public by making a poster.
  • Improve waste/recycling habits in the classroom and school
    • Are we reducing our waste?—Brainstorm ideas for using less and make changes in the classroom culture.
    • Are we recycling all that we can?—Make posters so that people clearly know what can and cannot be recycled.
    • Are enough recycling bins available?—Make (cardboard box) and/or acquire bins (from local recycling collection company) so that every room has at least one bin, and certain areas have several (lunchroom, near copy machine, etc).
    • Decorate cardboard boxes as office recycling bins and present them to adults in the community.
  • Fundraiser idea: Decorate and sell cloth grocery bags


  • Students generate ideas to reduce loose litter and communicate their ideas through a poster or an essay.
  • Students encourage recycling manners by presenting others with decorated cardboard recycling boxes and information.