History of Waste

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Mr. Fortin’s grade 5/6 class at Isabella Dicken Elementary school travelled back in time to explore the history of waste. 

The class started with brainstorming what the word ‘waste’ meant. How do we think about waste? Then we discussed what words would describe trash or garbage when using their senses (taste, smell, sound, touch and sight). 

The history of waste has its own evolution story so we needed to start from the beginning. The class had student volunteers dress up in a costume as a historic guest representing different time periods. The costumes and props were great fun for the class! 


The historic guests included a hunter-gatherer, an ancient farmer, a person from ancient Greece, a person from the industrial revolution, a person from the mid-1900’s and someone from present day. For each historic guest, students recorded the amount of waste created and something important about that time related to the waste produced. It is amazing to see how waste has changed so drastically over time. Our waste created today is so different from years previous and it allowed students to recognize potential problems for the future of waste.