Lifecycles of Everyday Objects

Posted on

In Alyssa Rundberg’s grade 5 class at Gordon Terrace, the students are wrapping up their first Beyond Recycling unit on waste with a mini project about the lifecycles of stuff.

Just like a storybook, everything we use has a beginning, middle and an end. Students have been learning about the five different stages along the way:

Extraction: any activity that withdraws resources from the Earth

Production: the making or manufacturing of something

Distribution: the process of making a product or service available for use

Consumption: the process in which the product or thing is completely destroyed, used up or consumed

Disposal: the action or process of throwing something away or getting rid of something

We first went through examples of a plastic water bottle and shredded wheat cereal before breaking off into groups to learn the lifecycle of jeans, battery, aluminum can, glass bottle, soccer ball or a pencil. Students were give story cards and challenged to put them into the correct lifecycle stages and determine which impacts might be associated with each stage. Finally, they shared their learnings with the rest of the class.