Words into Action

Our unit for this term involves taking action on an issue in our local area and acting to make a change.

At the beginning of this year our class instituted a new bin system to ensure we were taking advantage of the Council’s new recycling system that allows us to recycle scrunchable plastics such as cling wrap and snack wrappers. It was a significant change as these plastics form most of our lunch waste. We now have very little lunch waste going to landfill.

We inspected our landfill bin and noticed the only waste in it was foil-lined plastic, which cannot be recycled. We wondered why some companies chose to use the foil-lined plastic while others didn’t and brainstormed how we could make a change to our purchasing habits. This resulted in the students composing 2 pieces of persuasive and informative writing.

The first was a letter to parents that highlighted the issue and explicitly targeted the snacks that were most prevalent in our landfill bins. They pointed out similar snack alternatives that did not use foil-lined plastics and can therefore be recycled. We will be publishing one of these articles in the newsletter each week to try to get our message across. We hope you will support us by taking packaging into consideration before making your next purchase.

Our second action was to compose a letter to the companies who use the packaging. We let them know the actions we were taking and pointed out that we were highlighting similar snack products that did not used foil-lined plastic packaging. We urged them to make a change.

Because both pieces of writing had a formal audience, the students were very aware that their writing had to be error-free. The effort they put into solving this real, local problem was exceptional and we very much hope that it will make a measurable difference.

In science we have been exploring electricity. The students have discovered how to make simple circuits and have been practising drawing diagrams using standard electrical symbols. Yesterday we conducted tests into conductors and insulators. We discovered that metals, graphite and saltwater conducted electricity, while wood, stone, rubber, plastics and our drinking water did not.

Our maths mini unit on businesses has been completed. The next step it to apply our knowledge to our own small businesses.