and by the
Walmart Foundation

Garbage: Standards


First Grade (and others)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.8 [CCSS page]

With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Suggested Lesson

Make a list of things that can be recycled.

Third Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2 [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Suggested Lesson

How long does trash last? Take a look at this Education World site to do the experiment suggested, then write what you found out.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1 [CCSS page]

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

Suggested Lesson

Write a letter to a real or imaginary friend explaining to them why it is important to recycle, protect the environment, or conserve resources.

Sixth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.2 [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

Suggested Lesson

Gather household items that might be thrown away by most people. Make a list of useful ways that those items could be repurposed. Do some research, if necessary, to get in the swing of it. Get creative — you might think of some use for something, that no one else will think of.



CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 [CCSS page]

Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

Suggested Lesson

Sort and count the number of each type of object in the recycling bin in the classroom.

Third Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.A.2 [CCSS page]

Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.

Suggested Lesson

Towards the end of the day, go through the garbage cans in your classroom. Sort the materials into groups: things thrown away that could have been recycled, reused or repurposed; and things that are trash. You might include cans from other classrooms in your collections. Look for paperclips, crayons and pencils, just as examples. Weigh your collections to see how much trash isn't actually trash. Have a class discussion about what could be done to make changes.

Fifth Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD.C.3 [CCSS page]

Recognize volume as an attribute of solid figures and understand concepts of volume measurement.

Suggested Lesson

Gather compostable matter and create a compost bin on your school property or off-site, if necessary. Weight all of the matter as you deposit it in the heap. Measure the volume. Weigh it when it has completed its decomposition. Measure the volume again. Is there a difference? Discuss how and why. What can you do with your compost? Create a table of your findings.

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