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Page history last edited by Dara K. Cepeda 11 years, 10 months ago

Turning Trash to Treasure



Global environment problem: Plastic Pollution-Land Pollution


Trash to treasure, creating functional crafts by recycling plastic bags.  



Images/Video Resources



What is Pollution?

How does Plastic get recycled?
 Why is it important to be aware of Plastic Pollution?



Click HERE to see a great resource in helping out to save the ocean.


There are many ways in recycling plastic bags; one of them is to turn Trash to Treasure

*Make sure you use the customized search engine to find many more ideas and tutorials in creating trash to treasure.





















Have you ever wondered what happens to all the trash and plastic after we throw it away?

Do you know where our plastic goes?

Did you know that our oceans are filling up with plastic pollution? We are contaminating our land.  That is Land Pollution.

Plastic garbage contaminates even the most distant locations on earth, and harmful chemicals filtered by plastics are present in the bloodstream and tissues of almost every one of us.

Plastic pollution harms people, animals, and the environment. Plastic is not decomposable.

Look at this sad photograph! This poor bird that was found after its body decayed; the plastic that this bird consumed was still whole inside its skeleton.

In the marine environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that absorb toxic chemicals, which are ingested by wildlife, and enter the food chain that we depend on.

Consumption of throwaway plastics, such as bottles, containers, bags, and packaging, has spiraled out of control.

Recycling is not a sustainable solution. The reality is that most of our plastic waste is landfilled, down cycled or exported to other countries. And tragically, millions of tons of plastic are poisoning our oceans.




Plastic pollution is the visible symbol of our global crisis of over-consumption.






Sources: Wallace J. Nichols-Marine Biologist

World Oceans Day Statement on Plastic Pollution












Land Pollution painting by itemxhuner91









Sample Investigations/Teacher Resources


As you read in the scenario, Nichols a Marine Biologist, suggests for people to start designing new creative ways in recycling plastic.   According to Christian, a Science Monitor Newspaper, there is less than 1% of bag recycled because it costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one. 


You will be working in teams to do more research of this global problem.  You and your team must be able to answer these questions. 

  • What is plastic pollution?
  • Why is it important to be aware of this global problem?
  • How can a plastic bag end up at the ocean? 
  • What is the process of recycling a bag at the recycling center?
  • Find a solution to this problem
  • How can a plastic bag be recycled to create a functional object?

After you have found vital information and facts about it, you will search for creative ways in recycling plastic bags and make a sample of it.  


Your team will present the findings of the land pollution by using “VoiceThread”.  First you will create a PowerPoint by presenting your findings with illustrations, then you will be uploading this PowerPoint to VoiceThread and one of your teammates will record the narration of the presentation. 


Besides your presentation, your team has to create a functional craft by recycling plastic bags.  This sample/craft along with the other teams’ samples will be exhibited at the school library to promote ideas in recycling plastic bags.

Here are some samples of the Arts and Crafts created by recycling plastic bags to functional objects.  In other words Turn Trash into Treasure!






         Click HERE to see more samples.







This is a sample of a final presentation by using VoiceThread.  You will be creating a 5 slide PowerPoint by illustrating and adding main information about the Global Problem; Land Pollution, your findings and a possible solution.  After saving your PowerPoint you will upload it to VoiceThread.  Each member of your team will present by recording a narration of the project.  Your team presentation; VoiceThread will be projected on presentation day along with your recycled Functional craft to demonstrate a way of recycling.




What is VoiceThread?

*For teachers go HERE to learn about VoiceThread


Here are some ideas for recycling plastic bags:

  • ·         tote bags
  • ·         Wallets
  • ·         Sleeping Mats
  • ·         Hats
  • ·         Jewelry; bids, necklaces, Bracelets
  • ·         Rugs
  • ·         Jump rope
  • ·         Yarn (plarn) for weaving
  • ·         Crocheted coasters
  • ·         Flowers
  • ·         Flower pot
  • ·         Mandala Art
  • ·         Clothes line
  • ·         Pet bed
  • ·         Throw pillows
  • ·         Decorative wreath
  • ·         Rain jacket
  • ·         Dog leash
  • ·         Belt

*For instructional videos or websites of each of these ideas, students May use the customized search engine to have access to them.

Student Resources




Use this search engine to find more information about land pollution and possible solutions.  Arts and crafts created by plastic bags can be found here too.



To learn about VoiceThread click on the links bellow:

What is a VoiceThread? Here is more Information about VoiceThread

How to use VoiceThread for our Team presentation?

How can we record our narration in our VoiceThread?








    Click HERE to access the Team Project Rubric

    Click HERE to access the VoiceThread Rubric

Student Work


1. Read and analyze the scenario and situation.
Check your understanding of the scenario. Don't be tempted to start thinking about potential solutions or to start looking for information. 


1. List your personal understanding, ideas or hunches.

Now that you are familiar with Land Pollution you will write everything you know about this global problem; plastic pollution. Describe your thoughts or ideas about how to solve the problem. There are not incorrect answers in this step, just feel free to brainstorm your ideas.


2. List what is known.

 With your team use all the information available in the scenario to list everything that you know about plastic pollution. You do not have to conduct any research yet. Just use the information given and write the facts that you already know about plastic pollution.

3. List what is unknown.

With your team, make a list about what you do not know and would like to learn. List all the questions you will need to answer to solve the problem.  


4. List what needs to be done.
"What should we do?" List actions to be taken, e.g., question an expert, conduct research, go to a board meeting about topic. List possible actions.


5. Develop a problem statement.

You will be responsible for thinking and choosing one of the questions to solve the problem.  A problem statement should come from your analysis of what you know. In one or two sentences, you should be able to describe what it is that your group is trying to solve, produce, respond to, or find out. The problem statement may have to be revised as new information is discovered and brought to bear on the situation.

6. Gather information

Use all the resources available (Internet, library, etc) to research about the problem/topic and find a solution. 

7. Present Findings

You will be creating a 5 slide PowerPoint presentation by illustrating and adding main information about the Global Problem; Land Pollution, your findings and a possible solution.  After saving your PowerPoint you will upload it to VoiceThread.  Each member of your team will present by recording a narration of the project.  Your team presentation; VoiceThread will be projected on presentation day along with your recycled Functional craft to demonstrate a way of recycling.




(A)  Scientific investigations and reasoning.

(i)  To develop a rich knowledge of science and the natural world, students must become familiar with different modes of scientific inquiry, rules of evidence, ways of formulating questions, ways of proposing explanations, and the diverse ways scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on evidence derived from their work.

(ii)  Scientific investigations are conducted for different reasons. All investigations require a research question, careful observations, data gathering, and analysis of the data to identify the patterns that will explain the findings. Descriptive investigations are used to explore new phenomena such as conducting surveys of organisms or measuring the abiotic components in a given habitat. Descriptive statistics include frequency, range, mean, median, and mode. A hypothesis is not required in a descriptive investigation. On the other hand, when conditions can be controlled in order to focus on a single variable, experimental research design is used to determine causation. Students should experience both types of investigations and understand that different scientific research questions require different research designs.

(iii)  Scientific investigations are used to learn about the natural world. Students should understand that certain types of questions can be answered by investigations, and the methods, models, and conclusions built from these investigations change as new observations are made. Models of objects and events are tools for understanding the natural world and can show how systems work. Models have limitations and based on new discoveries are constantly being modified to more closely reflect the natural world.

(b)  Knowledge and skills.

(3)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions and knows the contributions of relevant scientists. The student is expected to:

(A)  in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;

(B)  use models to represent aspects of the natural world such as a model of Earth's layers;

(C)  identify advantages and limitations of models such as size, scale, properties, and materials; and

(D)  relate the impact of research on scientific thought and society, including the history of science and contributions of scientists as related to the content.



(1)  Perception. The student develops and organizes ideas from the environment. The student is expected to:

      (A)  illustrate themes from direct observation, personal experience

      (B)  analyze and form generalizations about the interdependence of the art elements such as color and     texture

(2)  Creative expression/performance. The student expresses ideas through original artworks, using a variety of media with appropriate skill.

      (C)  demonstrate technical skills effectively, using a variety of art media and materials to produce  sculptures and electronic media-generated art.

copyright and resources atributions







YouTube Videos

Creative Commons License
Turning Trash to Treasure by Dara Cepeda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://cepedadeportfolio.pbworks.com/w/page/55852256/PBL%202



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