We started off by handing out a sheet of paper to each student and giving them a couple crayons to use. From here I showed them my planet, then what our planet really looks like. During these two slides I had them drawn their own planet.
While they draw their Planet I explain how garabage is picked up, from inside our house to the curb to the dumptruck. Where does it go from there?
Most kids knew about a "dump" or "landfill" but I felt from their reactions that they had never seen one especially after seeing the picture below.
Next I ask them how long it takes for a piece of paper, a plastic bag, and a glass jar/bottle to "go away completely" or decompose.
I have them crumple their paper and place in front (this after my experience with the first grade and having them throw their crumpled paper at me), I have them look around to see the mess then I pull up a picture showing woods with littler and explain how long that stuff will be there and ask if that's where they want to go play.
Some grades I explain the cycle of how plants and trees grow, others I show this quick but move on.
Introduce Mr. Worm, nature's natural decomposer
Explain how worms help the soil and eat dead plants and trees, also how the holes allow water and air flow
Show a healthy forest and natural decomposition of a tree
I then ask them if they know about recycling and state that it is important to recycle as much as we can to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and how we humans leave waste for a long time while nature does it quickly and doesn't leave bad waste around.
This is where they get their paper back or someone else's paper. I have them come up with ideas on things we can make out of our garbage and write them or draw them on the other side of the paper. I show them a few examples of what they can do and tell them that sometimes us adults can lose a bit of imagination and we need their help.
Lastly after going around and see what ideas they have or helping to explain what I'm looking for I tell them one last time that even though they may be little or younger that they can make a difference by making sure to recycle or create new things out of waste.
Conclustion, I have over 500 pages of planets and ideas to sift and compile. I know my presentation made a difference because my youngest daughter immediately started getting on her mother's case about putting recycle in the recycle not the garbage! She also trying to make things out of stuff that would be just thrown away. It could be that she wants to make her dad happy and proud but I feel that a good majority of the kids went home and did the same thing. This great for my city but I probably have a bunch of irritated parents now!