Ocean Plastics

Geography | Ages 11-14

Ocean Plastics Geography 11-14 is a full unit of work aligned to the Geography Key Stage 3 programme of study, created in partnership with the Geographical Association.

The lessons address the issue of marine plastic pollution, the harm caused by plastics to the environment and communities, how we deal with all the waste, ending with a debate on approaches to reducing ocean plastic pollution.

Fieldwork templates for investigating plastics in the local area are included as well as a wealth of case studies exploring both the human and physical elements of plastic pollution.

You may wish to introduce ocean literacy to your students before commencing this unit by teaching our short Oceans for beginners unit of work for ages 11-14.


Lesson 1: What is the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' really like?

Students explore the fabled ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ understanding the human and physical processes that have created it.

Lesson 2: What is plastic and why is it a problem in the ocean?

Students investigate what plastic are and a range of the environmental impacts caused by plastics in the ocean.

Lesson 3: Plastic case study - tourism in Kenya

Students visit Lamu in Kenya to discover the economic and social impacts of marine plastic pollution through a tourism case study.

Lesson 4: How can we deal with all the plastic waste?

Students understand the enormity of the amount of plastic being manufactured and investigate solutions such as recycling and new economic models.

Lesson 5: The global journey of plastic waste

In this lesson students explore how recycling plastic is not just a domestic issue, but one of interconnected global trade and crime.

Lesson 6: Approaches to reducing ocean plastic pollution

In this lesson, students engage in a silent debate to evaluate different initiatives to tackle the issue of marine plastic pollution.

Lesson 7: Plastics decision making exercise

A decision-making exercise using information from the silent debate, makes up half of this end of unit assessment.

Lesson 8: Plastics fieldwork (school grounds)

This lesson provides a framework for conducting plastics fieldwork in the school grounds. Lesson 8 runs this fieldwork in the school grounds.

Lesson 9: Plastics fieldwork (local area)

This lesson provides a framework for conducting plastics fieldwork in the local area. Lesson 9 takes this fieldwork into the local area.



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