ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
KCCB provides FREE environmental education programs to teachers, after-school programs, youth organizations and clubs in Cass County, thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE). Our mission is to educate, enable, and encourage all Cass County residents to take greater responsibility for improving our community environment. KCCB programs are interdisciplinary and support Nebraska State Standards in the areas of art, language arts, math, science, and social studies.
General Environmental Programs
Fred the Fish (Grades Pre-K – 4) (our most popular program) 30 min.– 1 hour
Through a simulation activity, students will meet Fred the little fish whose curiosity gets the best of him as he explores Mill Creek. He has no idea that the water is not always safe. We’ll follow Fred on his journey and see the effects of water pollution on wildlife as well as what we can do to keep our water clean. Extension lesson: For grades 3 & 4: How does drinking water get to your home? Short video followed by students creating homemade water filters.
Enrichment: create a habitat for animals using a sand box, table, or shoe box plus landscape items such as trees, rocks, sticks, etc.
I Can Save the Earth! (Grades Pre-K – 1) 25 minutes Kids will love meeting Max, a little green monster, who likes to litter and never, ever recycles. Then one day, the electricity goes out and he sees how exciting and beautiful the Earth is, and that it will need his help to stay that way. Based on the book, I Can Save the Earth! by Alison Inches, your students will learn many ways to take care of the Earth from Max. Students may also make their version of a little green monster that protects the Earth.
Garbage Pizza (Grades 2 – 6) 45 minutes – 1 hour
What is MSW and how can we manage it? Students will be able to describe the composition of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and identify items within each waste category. They will visualize the amount of waste and categories of MSW by creating a pie chart to look like a “pizza.” We’ll discuss ways students can help better manage solid waste in schools and in their communities.
The Integrated Approach (Grades 5 – 6) 45 minutes – 1 hour
Students will identify the five options for solid waste management: source reduction and reuse, recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and sanitary landfills. Students will enjoy participating in a relay race in which they select items and identify the best waste management option. Discussion will follow as students defend their choices. Video included.
Clean and Green Haikus (Grades 5 – 6) Students must complete “The Integrated Approach” as a prerequisite to this lesson. 45 minutes - 1 hour Share what you know by applying ecology words in the form of Haiku. Students will be able to relate the meaning of the word syllable, review the Haiku form of poetry, and use vocabulary learned to write original Haikus with an ecology twist.
Lingo Bingo (Grades 4 – 6) 45 minutes
If your class likes games, they'll love Lingo Bingo! Students will be able to identify and understand vocabulary used on consumer packaging relating to solid waste issues. They will use a variety of consumer packaging to play an interactive bingo game followed by class discussion defining all the terms used in the game.
Trash Trivia (Grades 3 – 6)45 minutes – 1 hour or you may do over several class sessions
Do you want to help your students learn the facts? In this lesson students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of waste, garbage, landfill, waste-to-energy, recycling, and source reduction. Students will team teach landfill and waste-to-energy facts to the rest of the class and then compete in a trivia game.
Litter Prevention Programs
If It’s Litter (Grades Pre-K – 1) 30 - 45 minutes
We’ll learn about litter, how to put it in the right place, and how to make our own litter bag. We’ll read a story and learn a song to help us put waste in its proper place. Enrichment: Oscar’s Trash Collection game: pbskids.org/
Litter Evaluation Bag (Grades 2 – 4) 30 minutes – 1 hour
Students will discuss why littering is undesirable and how the behavior can be changed. They’ll divide into small groups and rank litter in a paper bag from least harmful to most harmful. Enrichment: students may group litter items in categories of reusable, recyclable, and compost. Discuss ways to properly dispose of litter.
The Wartville Wizard (Grades Pre-K – 6) 45 minutes - 1 hr.
What will it take to get the people of Wartville to stop littering and put their trash where it belongs? This delightful story by Don Madden will find a way to reach all of your students. With a little help from some of your students as the characters, we’ll act out the story and find out that there are wizards with the power to fight litter in your classroom and your community!
Don’t Be a Litterbug (Grades 4 – 6) 45 minutes – 1 hour Can you change a litterbug’s habits? Students will be able to recognize that many of their actions are habits and that littering is a habit that has a negative impact on the environment. Students will portray various types of litterbugs in short skits, learn about the types and sources of litter, and suggest ways to change littering habits. Extension: Students will create a targeted anti-litter message/slogan for a poster.
Timmy the Tumble Bag (Grades Pre-K – 3) 20 – 30 minutes Follow Timmy the Tumble bag, a plastic shopping bag, on his adventures of being recycled. We’ll learn Timmy’s motto, "It’s all about the 3 R’s and Respect for the environment." Depending on the age of the students, facts about plastics and ways to reuse plastic bags will be explained. A surprise activity at the end will energize your students.
The Three R's plus Repurpose (Grades Pre-K - 2) 30 - 45 minutes
This is a great "beginner lesson" to help your students understand the terms: reuse, reduce, recycle, with an additional twist - repurpose. We’ll read and discuss the colorful book The Three R's by Nuria Roca. Then students will love sorting items that can and can't be recycled. Discussion will follow with a challenge of how to repurpose common items. Extension: Optional recycling video may be included with program. Teacher will receive a "Pledge to Recycle" card for each student.
Paper Recycling (Grades 3 – 6) 1 hour - 90 minutes
Students will learn about the history of paper, its future, and why recycling paper is beneficial to the environment. We'll watch a video called "Making Paper" to give a real-world overview of the recycling process. Then students will operate their own paper recycling facility and produce recycled paper right in your classroom. (A space without carpet is recommended with access to electricity and water.)
Plastics by the Numbers (Grades 3 – 6) 45 minutes - 1 hour
Are all plastics the same? This lesson will teach students how to identify different kinds of plastics and if they are recyclable in our community. Students will sort and record plastics by their identification code. Enrichment: includes a student activity sheet to conduct a plastic package survey in a grocery store or at home.
MRF in Action (Grades 4 – 6) 50 minutes – 1hour What happens at a MRF – commonly known as a "murf," a materials recovery facility or a recycling center? Students will be able to identify and participate in a simulation of five separation techniques used by recycling centers including four automated processes that are introduced in this activity. Discussion will include advantages and disadvantages of separation techniques. We’ll wrap-up with a video "Saving Little Pieces of our Earth" that explains how 5 common products are recycled at an MRF. Enrichment: Includes a "Pledge to Recycle" card for each student and several websites to consult.
Do the Rot Thing…Compost! (Grades 4 – 6) 45minutes- 1hour Did you know that food scraps, junk mail and paper products make up about 30% of our garbage? We’ll identify materials needed in the composting process and then construct an individual compost unit for observation in your classroom. Students will also gain an understanding of the life cycle, decomposition, and biodegradable materials and observe live worms at work in a vermicomposting bin.
Partners in the Pile (Grades Pre-K – 3) 30 - 45 minutes age depending We’ll identify materials needed in the composting process and how it works. Your class will learn new vocabulary, compost critters, and enjoy making compost in a group activity by matching pictures and words. We’ll also discuss nature’s way of recycling to return nutrients to the soil and observe live worms at work in a vermicomposting bin – a place where worms can turn food scraps into plant food.
The Adventures of Herman (Grades 3 – 6) 45 min. - 1 hour Learn about red wigglers, composting, and how to set up your own vermi-composting bin with "Herman the Worm" as your guide. We’ll explore the anatomy of worms, how to make a worm compost bin, and the worm deli -what to feed your worms to make rich compost. Kitchen food scraps make a great worm deli of tasty meals for Herman and his friends. Technology Connections available
Learn about recycling by properly placing garbage in the correct bins at Recycle Roundup. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Games/ActionGames/Recycle-roundup
Explore Recycle City to see how the people of the town reduce waste, use less energy, and even save money by doing simple things at home, at work, and in their neighborhoods.