Lanuage Arts

The Language Arts curriculum documents are full of cross curricular links to sustainable living.  With a little creativity, it wouldn't be hard to plant seeds of sustainability.  Take a look below at some ways that you can implement  meaningful change in your classroom.  

If you are a parent looking for sustainable messages for your children, be sure to take a look below for ideas after you read the monthly newsletter (or preferred method of communication) from your child's homeroom teacher.

Persuasive Writing

Language Arts

Persuasive writing is one of the six genres of writing and can be found across the grades in the Ontario Language Arts Curriculum Documents.  In fact, this genre is present in almost every curriculum document around the world.  It is usually addressed in every elementary grade level, so it is a very versatile unit for teachers.  Putting a sustainable twist to it comes in the guided instruction.

What makes this so sustainable living friendly is that your demo text can take on whatever sustainable message your want it to be.  For me, I choose the sentence starter:

"The Canadian government should ban single use plastic because these items are causing serious ecological problems for eco systems in rivers and oceans."

Once I have a topic, students can brainstorm what they already know about single use plastics on marine life. 

  • plastic bags look like jelly fish to sea turtles
  • plastic straws end up in the noses of sea turles
  • whales are washing up on shore filled with plastic bags in their stomaches
  • (we could keep going if you wanted...)

 Students are often given the task to choose a viewpoint that they care deeply about and then explain in a passionate voice why you should also follow suit.  It is quite easy to incorporate the traits of writing, bringing attention to voice.  

Here are a few topics that students may choose to write about.

  • Single use plastics should be banned at school because...
  • People should donate reusable items to the poor so they don't have to re purchase common household items
  • bamboo toothbrushes are a better way to take care of your teeth
  • Families should cut back on harsh chemicals in their house because...

Remember that if a student is not passionate about an eco friendly topic, that they should have the freedom to offer and write about another topic that they feel strongly about.  A student's voice will only come out if they also agree with a message you send. It is perfectly alright to see students go in their own direction, as the ultimate goal of this lesson is to teach how to write an effective persuasive text.


Don't Flush Those Single Use Wipes!

Create a public Service Announcement

Created April 17th, 2020

During the COVID 19 pandemic, many people are using single use disinfecting wipes more than even before.  We can't really avoid this because our health is taking a front seat in all of our actions, and many people would argue that the reuse culture isn't compatible with our need for sterile surfaces. 

The problem is that people are flushing wipes down the toilet thinking that they are safe to flush.  This is a common misconception, since these products have been marketed in a way that leads their customers to think otherwise.  Articles have been written on it, and some news stations have even done segments on university studies on what can happen if too many "single use"  wipes get caught in the municipal sewer systems.

Assignment Suggestion

Ask your students to research the problems associated with flushing single use wipes down the toilet. Which area of government gets affected? How does flushing wipes affect our biodiversity if they make it to our waterways? After researching, ask your students to make an information poster on where single use wipes should be disposed of. 

Cross Curricular Strands Covered in this Assignment:

  • Grade 5 Social Studies Canadian Government (Identify  the level of government that manages waste and sewage water infastructure)
  • Junior and Intermediate Science in the Habitat and Biodiversity Strands
  • Junior and Intermediate Media Literacy by creating a handmade or digital information poster for the public

Learn More

Click on the link below for a report on the dangers associated with flushing single use wipes.