Linking CBL and Mathematics

As part of our Challenge Based Learning topic ‘Environment’, students had been investigating their local environment and factors that impact on it. Students had always been told to put their rubbish in the bin when one student said “but other kids don’t”. This sparked a conversation on litter. Students knew that the garbage in the bin went to the dump…but where did the rubbish on the floor go? We decided to investigate if ACPS had a rubbish problem and what might be happening to all of the litter.

We grabbed some school maps from the office and separated into groups. We decided that we would focus on two things:

  • Do students at ACPS litter?
  • If so, which areas in the school have the most litter and why.

We decided that we would put a cross on the map every time we found litter. We had to understand the maps first so we spent time looking at the maps and discussing the location of different buildings and landmarks in the school.




When we got back we sat in our groups and discussed our maps and findings. Was there much litter? Which areas in the school had the most?

There was litter everywhere! -Haveesh

I think the wind blew the rubbish into the wetlands. -Irem

The little playground had heaps of rubbish. -Riaz

That’s because Preps play there maybe- Matias

Do the birds eat the rubbish? – Devyan

Yeah I’ve seen them and then they get sick – Lilly

The area around the playgrounds seemed to have the most. The class decided that maybe students drop it when they are on the monkey bars or maybe it is because it is mainly the little kids playing there and they might not know much about rubbish!

So where does this litter go if nobody picks it up? We used our iPads to research this and found some good videos showing where litter ends up – in the ocean or in an animals habitat! We decided to sketch drawings with oil pastels. One habitat would show a healthy habitat, the other would depict a habitat affected by litter or pollution.

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Later this week students will be presented with their ‘Environment’ challenge. Stay tuned to see what they come up with!