Lesson Plan : Garbology: Whose Trash Is It?

Teacher Name:
 A. Schrock
 Grade 6

 The Inquiry Process
 Scientific Method Hypothesis Archaeology Artifact
 Students will apply their understanding of the scientific method to a study of garbology by developing a hypothesis about what information they should gain from sorting through a garbage bag, making and recording observations of garbage contents, followed by making and recording inferences based on those observations, and finally defending how their inferences relate to their hypothesis.
 1.01 TLW identify and create questions and hypotheses that can be answered through scientific investigations. 1.05 TLW Analyze evidence to explain observations, make inferences and predictions, and develop the relationship between evidence and explanation 1.08 TLW use oral and written language to defend conclusions of scientific investigations
 Five paper grocery bags various pieces of "clean" trash (no discarded food items)
 Review Scientific Method
 "The Scientific Method: An Introduction to the Inquiry Process" by Keith Carlson (Powerpoint) Pass out garbology handouts
 Students will be paired into seven groups of 4 Give each group a bag of trash. Each bag will be a prepared bag of clean trash (example...one bag could be a junk food bag, pet-friendly bag, electronics, etc...) Groups will sort through their bag of trash and record each item
Checking For Understanding:
 Each group will present their hypothesis and show the contents of their bags to the rest of the class. The they will share their inferences with the entire class
 The scientific method with be reviewed again and any misconceptions or misunderstandings that is common amoung the class will be addressed.
 This would be one of the hands on activites that the class would do towards the end of the sixth grade school year. The lesson is for students who have been studying scientific method for some time
Teacher Reflections:
 This is a great lab. The students love digging through the bags. It is a great way for students to understand inferences and there is no pressure to be 100% right because it is an inference of what the group decides is the behavior of the people who generated the trash.

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