Summary: Through the Washed Ashore community project, students create marine-themed art from plastic debris found on beaches. The art serves to educate the public and increase awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution.
Concepts to teach: Plastic, marine debris, art
Goals: Students turn problematic plastic trash into pieces of art as a powerful way of showing the pervasiveness of plastic in our oceans and its effects on marine wildlife.
AR.03.CP.01, AR.03.CP.03, AR.03.HC.03, AR.03.HC.04, AR.03.HC.05
AR.05.CP.01, AR.05.CP.03, ARl05.HC.01, AR.05.HC.03, AR.05.HC.04, AR.05.HC.05
- Sort plastics by type, color and functionality
- Create a marine-themed piece of art from the plastic
- Showcase the art to the public along with supporting essays, presentations, and student work about the topic of plastic pollution in the ocean.
Activity Links and Resources:
- Washed Ashore Project—The Washed Ashore community project was initiated by Bandon artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi. The website includes videos, exhibit schedule, and training opportunities.
- See how two 6th grade classrooms in Oregon’s Lincoln County School District used Washed Ashore to incorporate the study of oceans, art and marine pollution into their curriculum: Washed Ashore Presentation.
- NOAA’s FAQ about plastic marine debris and its impacts.
- NOTE: Not all information is appropriate to share with elementary students. For more on this topic read the article Beyond Ecophobia by David Sobel.
- Student portfolio includes a ocean-themed art piece made from plastic marine debris with an accompanying essay that describes the artwork and its relationship to ocean health.