When It Is "Wrong To Belong" - Scavenger Hunt
(adapted from Here Today Here Tomorrow...Revisited: A Teacher's Guide to Solid Waste Management.
NJ Dept of Environmental Protection, Div. of Solid Waste Management)
SUBJECT AREAS: science, social studies
CONCEPT: What is litter? Why do we litter?
OBJECTIVE: Students will become aware of the various forms of litter found in different environments. Students will be able to distinguish between man-made litter and natural materials that people dispose of improperly.
MATERIALS: Paper bags (one per group)
KEYWORDS: litter

1. Select an area for study and divide students into groups. Tell students they will be participating in a scavenger hunt.
2. Each group receives a list of the items expected to be found in this "unfamiliar" environment and a bag to collect the items.
3. Determine the length of time for this activity and have the students find as many items as possible.
4. Wash hands!
5. Discuss the items found, having the students comment on how they got there. While this activity can be done almost anywhere, it might be more effective in an environment that is new to the students. It is recommended that the teacher visit these areas first to better prepare the "scavenger" sheet.
Sample list: Use this same activity in different environments and compare the results.
Examples might be:
A trip to the city park
something lost by a person
a coin
something glass
evidence of people
aluminum can
fast-food wrappers
A trip to the beach
a crab's claw
sea glass
something metal
something aluminum
a shell
a battery
A trip to the woods
an oak leaf or evergreen needles
evidence of an animal
evidence of a person
Around the school yard
something left by a person
something aluminum
Common to all
Something blue
something plastic
something bigger than your nose
Take a litter walk to clean up an area, e.g., playground, park, roadside.

Back to Solid Waste Activities Grades K-3

Cornell Waste Management Institute ©1991
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
Bradfield Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853