Grades 7-8 (ages 13-15)

Alex the Frog Environmental Education Series

This series of interactive, educational CD-ROMs features irresistible Alex the Frog, a six-foot, hip-hopping frog, as your guide.

  • CD-ROMs feature engaging videos, quizzes, visualizations and interactive simulations
  • Some programs are also available online
  • Designed for grades 4-8
  • Produced by the Center for Global Environmental Education
  • The three programs in this series are:

Water Down the Drain

The Story of Water Pollution: Six modules introduce a watershed landscape perspective and provide information about the impacts of impervious surfaces and pollution problems as well as solutions common to residential lots.

Urban Water Cycle

Drinking Water - Storm Water - Waster Water:  Takes teachers, students, and citizens into underground aquifers,
up water towers, and squeezing through the maze of pipes that circulate water through three related systems in
urban environments. It’s a journey that leads to new understanding of the importance of using water wisely. Includes
a standards-based classroom activity guide.

Big Foot

Reduce. Reuse, Recycle: A Step-by-Step Guide to Shrinking Your Ecological Footprint 






Ship-to-Shore Educational resources

Algalita’s Ship-to-Shore Educational resources are based on research conducted in 2014 by Algalita’s team in the "The North Pacific Gyre" which exposed the serious threat of marine plastic pollution.

Resources include:

  • Debris Science Investigation Kit — a complete curriculum set on the impacts of plastic marine
    debris customized for one 50 min. period.
  • Mapping Plastic Marine Pollution — lessons aligned with California Science Content Standards,
    includes printable activity sheets, uses Google Earth software
  • Watershed Wonders Companion Curriculum — lessons aligned with California Science
    Content Standards, includes printable activity sheets, uses Google Earth software.






All At Once — funded by Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation

Support plastic-free initiatives  

  • Support plastic-free initiatives by learning about single-use plastic.
  • Participate in cleanups of your local beach or watershed.
  • Host inspiring movies to encourage your school to go plastic free.
  • Explore innovative efforts to reduce single-use plastic in schools,
    businesses and communities.






Anchorage Museum
Gyre: The Plastic Ocean

"The Plastic Ocean" tells a global ocean debris story through the work of more than 20 artists from around the world. The exhibition includes a section specific to Alaska featuring a 2013 expedition’s resulting scientific discoveries, as well as art created from the ocean trash gathered on Alaska’s beaches during the journey. Gyre Lesson Plans offer classroom activity ideas on themes in the exhibition aligned to Content Standards for Alaska Students, Cultural Standards for Educators, and Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools. The lesson plans were created by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. The art lessons were created in partnership with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and
the Washed Ashore Project.

Lessons include: 

  • Plastics in motion (study about marine debris and documentary)
  • Plastics in society (History of marine debris and making of plastic bags)
  • Effect of marine debris on ecosystems (Ocean garbage patch, marine
    mammals and birds)
  • Coastal cleanup, Data entry and Exploration (Coastal monitoring curriculum
    and ocean conservancy data sheet)
  • Top of the Ocean Mat (Stellar sea lions & marine debris video, Fur seal
    entanglement project)
  • Plastic Gyre Dangles (Alaska & North Atlantic gyre expedition)
  • Marine Debris masks 





Bag It! Movie 
Curriculum packet

The curriculum allows students to explore the effect of their everyday behavior on environment, their health and well-being. Every lesson has an interactive and hands on activity. The lessons are:

  • Single use disposables — Take the Bag-It Challenge & Change by Converting
  • Waste and Recycling — Free my food & Don't Just Trash It
  • Ocean's — Trash in our oceans
  • Human Health — We are what we eat
  • Activism — Finding your voice






Bash the Trash
Performance art/music/theater

BTT combines over 20 years of experience performing and teaching in New York by top professional musicians and educators who focus on science (STEM), sound and sustainability. They do follow-up hands-on classroom workshops, longer-term residencies and/or family/community events. Customize workshops and packages for your school.  For K-8th grades.







California Coastal Commission
Beach or schoolyard cleanups

Coastal Cleanup Day is the largest volunteer event in California and is a part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which takes place in 100 countries and 42 U.S. states. Your classroom or youth group can be a part of this monumental event or can conduct a schoolyard cleanup day as a part of the coastal cleanup day.








California Coastal Commission 
Save Our Seas – Grades 7-8

Comprehensive K-12 curriculum series of hands-on math and science based activities designed by California Coastal Commission and Center for Marine Conservation to encourage students to think about: the complexity of environmental problems, why we should care about the marine environment, the ocean pollution problem and how individuals can be part of the solution. Save Our Seas is specifically designed to implement the concepts and approaches embodied in the California Science Framework. It is divided into four units: grades K-3, 4-6, 7-8, and
9-12. Each unit concludes with a "real life" success story about what students of all ages are doing to protect our Earth. All curriculum available for download and print.  

Grades 7-8 focus on solid waste and packaging. Lessons include:

  • Web of Life
  • Too Much Trash
  • Marine Debris Survey
  • Packaging your product
  • Stenciling storm drains
  • Recycling in your schools






California Coastal Commission
Waves, Wetlands and Watersheds

Educators guide to address issues such as endangered species, coastal geology, water use, and more.  It is aligned with the California State Science Content Standards for grades 3 through 8, and includes “Community Action” lessons adaptable for all ages up to and beyond 12th grade. Downloadable lessons:

  • Species in Danger – grade 7
  • The Sinking Feeling – grade 8






Colorado Ocean Coalition
Educators resource guide

This guide was developed by the National Geographic Society for teaching ocean themes within real-world context. It provides a solid introduction to the ocean and the ocean literacy principles including specific lessons on plastic pollution.   

  • Plastic in the Pacific — National Science Foundation’s QUEST takes a closer look at how only seven percent of the plastic used in the United States is recycled. Much of the rest ends up in landfills, or worse, oceans. QUEST examines the problem with the “Great Pacific Garbage
    Patch” and challenges students to find solutions to this global issue.
  • Debris Dilemma’s — Jean-Michel Cousteau shares a learning activity and video that explores
    “Trash on the Spin Cycle” discovering what causes huge quantities of garbage to end up on the
    most remote islands in the world and how this garbage affects wildlife.



Earthwatch Institute, Australia - TeachWild 

TeachWild is an enquiry based learning program addressing the impacts of marine debris on our marine environment. The program actively engages students in becoming citizen scientists and this includes hands-on learning in scientific methodology, data collection and analysis of marine debris. This data will be uploaded onto the TeachWild website to become part of the Australian National Marine Debris database.




Ecoliteracy Project


The Center for Ecoliteracy promotes ecological education. They encourage schools to teach and model sustainable practices. They lead system change initiatives through publishing original resources, facilitate conferences and
professional development and offer strategic consulting across local, regional, state and national levels.
Notable projects include California Food for California Kids, modeling how system change can provide local farm
fresh food to local schools. They offer books and articles which explain and support their work.
Oakwood Learning
- downloadable for grades 6+.





EPA - Science Fair Fun: Designing Environmental Science Projects 

This booklet is a step-by-step guide to help you design an exciting science fair project that focuses on the 3Rs of waste management—reduce, reuse, and recycle. Use your science fair project to show how the 3Rs lead to resource conservation.

Check out the sample projects in this booklet, which also contains a list of useful resources to help make your project a winner!





Hong Kong Science Museum
Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project

Education resources accompanying the art exhibit Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project presented by the Hong Kong Science Museum. Activity sheet and teachers guide provided. Available in Cantonese.

Topics included:

  • People and environment
  • Science and technology in everyday life
  • Microplastic
  • Plastic in sea
  • Plastic in everyday life
  • Plastic sea garbage in Hong Kong




Know Feel Act!  Marlisco

“Know Feel Act! To Stop Marine Litter” has been prepared to inform, sensitize and enable European teachers and students to take action to tackle the problem of litter in our seas and coasts. The material has been designed to primarily serve youth aged 10-15 yrs, but can be used also by educators outside the formal schooling system.  Teachers can learn how to use Know Feel Act! via e-courses and then communicate through this Facebook page, set up by course members.  





Monterey Bay National Marine SanctuaryMERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) - 

This project is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) program, a marine conservation outreach effort comprising approximately twenty-five regional groups that participate in ocean and
watershed education programs serving Hispanic/Latino students, teachers,
adults and families. The goal of this bilingual guide, the marine conservation
kit and the watershed training component is to contribute to the protection
of our watersheds and oceans through education on marine conservation issues.
The guide features classroom and field activities focused on resource management
issues such as water quality, restoration science, and environmental stewardship
that are aligned to district and state science, math, language arts, visual and
performing arts and English language development standards.  In English and Spanish.  





Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary  -Classroom activities

In partnership with National Geographic, these classroom materials were developed with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to educate students about pollution in the ocean, lakes and oceans. Available for download for students from K-12.

Grades 5 - 8 lessons focus on:

  • Storm water pollution
  • Species interdependence




National Geographic Society - Threats to Ocean Life: Can Marine Sanctuaries Help? 


This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about environmental problems in the oceans and how marine sanctuaries can help protect ocean habitats. Students will use National Geographic's Wild World Global 200 feature to learn about marine ecoregions and the environmental problems they are facing. They will read about the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Students will conclude by writing proposals to establish new marine sanctuaries. 


NOAA - Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration 

This curriculum takes lesson plans that were developed for NOAA Voyages of Discovery and the Ocean Explorer Web Site and presents them in a comprehensive scope and sequence through subject area categories that cut across individual expeditions. Each lesson focuses on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning and is correlated to the National Science Education Standards.

The curriculum themes progress from physical science through earth science to biological and environmental science, based on 1) the geologic formations that cut across expeditions (seamounts, ridges and banks, canyons and shelves, and mid-ocean spreading ridges), 2) using models to understand structures and functions, and 3) using scientific data in the classroom to model scientific work and thinking. What is unique in this approach is the combination of the Ocean Explorer Web Site with each lesson presented here. Through this approach, teachers and
students have a direct connection to the scientists whose work they are modeling in the classroom and a
direct connection to the exciting new discoveries through NOAA ocean exploration.






Ocean Crusaders - Games and puzzles

Ocean Crusaders have educational programs for: North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom 

  • North America
  • 7 Lessons (Overview, Ocean Gyres, Sharks, Great Barrier Reef, Turtles, Dolphins, Bottled Water, How Green are You)
  • Australia — includes all lessons in the North America lessons with additional lessons on the Albatross, Seals,
    Whales, Penguins, Manta Rays





Ocean Research Project (ORP) - Plastic Pollution is Avoidable

The Ocean Research Project (ORP) is a non-profit organization that collects scientific data in marine environments with a focus on: science, education and exploration. By extensively exploring the marine plastic pollution problem within the two oceans bordering our nation and within the Chesapeake Bay, ORP produced a lesson plan that integrates
into science and environmental based curriculums. This lesson has optional props and activities including a survey
and game. Components of the lesson would benefit from being taught outdoors and nearby a waterfront environment.
If mostly an indoor lesson a PowerPoint presentation is available. Ideal Grade: Content can be modified to appropriate
grade.  Duration: 60 minutes with 20-minute lunchtime activity; 80 minutes.





Oikonos - Winged Ambassadors – Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross 

Ocean literacy through the eyes of an albatross, a threatened species. Examine the digestive system of an albatross to learn about how what they eat can help us analyze ocean pollution. The classroom activity package consists of five lessons comprising activities using inquiry based science instructions, aligned to new standards for grades 5-8 with extensions for grades 9-12.

Lessons include:

  • Introduction to seabirds
  • Tracking albatross migrations
  • Protecting ocean hotspots
  • Bolus Analysis
  • Campus Debris survey




Oregon Sea Grant - Mitigating Microplastics 

Mitigating Microplastics was developed at Oregon State University though the Oregon Sea Grant, which serves the state, region and nation through an integrated program of research, outreach, and education that helps people understand, rationally use and conserve marine and coastal resources.

The curriculum includes three lessons intended to engage 6- to 8-grade students with the issue of microplastics in the ocean, analyzing both the problem and possible solutions. The lessons are structured to include opportunities for student inquiry, as well as collaboration and engagement with real data collected by scientific researchers working in the field.  The entire curriculum is designed to take about one week, but may be extended by including a project at the end of the curriculum.
For teachers, lesson plans and powerpoint attached.




Plastic_Free_Curriculum_resized.jpgPlastic Free Curriculum

6th Grade - 8th Grade - Using multi-media and multiple options for learning, this unit introduces Plastic Pollution to middle schoolers.

Plastic Free Curriculum is a web based not for profit organization formed to help busy PreK-12 teachers provide their students with engaging curriculum on Plastic Pollution.  All units contain
stand alone lessons that can be downloaded and used with minimal prep work.  We offer
cross-curricular material for all grade levels.  All lessons are Common Core and Next
Generation compatible. We currently offer curriculum for English Language Arts, Social Studies,
and Science classes.  

Plastic Free Curriculum also offers District and building teacher in-service meeting curriculum. 
Our in-service programs help educate teachers and administrators about Plastic Pollution. 
Our in-service programs also offer break out groups and print and go lessons for all grade levels.
We will also collaborate with teachers to write curriculum specific to their classroom
needs.  For more information please contact us at  




Plastic Free Hawai’i – Kokua Hawaii Foundation -
Marine Debris Sorting and ID lesson

Develop an awareness, ask questions and determine positive solutions for real life issues associated with marine debris.  Collecting, sorting, and investigating marine debris in a hands-on, project-based activity that allows students to look at their environment through the lens of a scientist.














Plastic Free Hawaii – Kokua Hawaii Foundation -

Downloadable resources helpful to school groups and others interested in learning how to reduce single-use plastics on campus and at home.

Resources include:

  • Plastic Free Hawaii( PFH) Program Overview
  • PFH Educators Resource Guide
  • PFH Marine Debris Sorting and Identification Lesson
  • PFH Product Resource Guide
  • PFH Commitment Card
  • Tips to Go Plastic Free
  • Healthy and Waste Free Lunches
  • Green Fundraising Ideas for Schools
  • Green Grants for Schools






Sailors for the Sea – KELP Program - Pollution and Marine Debris

Kids Environmental Lesson Plans (KELP) are fun, easy to use and help students understand the ocean’s influence on them and their influence on the ocean. The section on Pollution and Marine Debris includes 5 downloadable activities and games regarding biomagnification, effects of land-use in watershed, modern and historic sources of pollution to a body of water, effect of plastic in beaches and beach contamination. Materials are free but users must register to download.

For all ages:

  • Biomagnification 
  • Everything Flows Downstream





Surfrider Foundation - Rise Above Plastics

A step by step guide to creating positive change in your community through reducing single-use plastics. The RAP Toolkit is focused on establishing a plastic bag ban in your town. It also offers insight on increasing awareness of plastic pollution through fact sheets, education, and outreach.







Tangaroa Blue - Marine Debris Education Kit

The Tangaroa Blue Education Kit, funded by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, develops awareness about marine environmental and conservation through exploration of: What is marine debris; why is marine debris a problem, and what can we do about it? Concepts of consumption, pollution and resolution are investigated to help students develop an understanding of the interrelationship between the Earth's environment and human activities.

Easy-to-use for educators, it is aligned with Australia's National Curriculum: Science and cross-curricular priorities of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture, Asia
and Australia's engagement with Asia, and sustainability.
An inquiry-oriented teaching and learning model gives students opportunities to represent and re-represent their
developing understanding, while hands-on experiences provide links to the real world beyond the classroom with real
data and analysis becoming part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Students develop stewardship and ultimately
become part of the solution for marine debris.





Tara Expeditions - Educational resources

Educational resources and customized learning based on the Tara Expedition voyages across subject area and by age. Tara is a French non-profit, active since 2003. Their high-level, scientific research voyages focus on three main themes: Ocean and Mankind; Ocean and Biodiversity; Ocean and Climate. Tara has completed 10 expeditions to study and understand the impacts of climate change and the ecological crisis on the ocean.  The organization works daily to increase environmental awareness among the general public and young people. Through a special consultative status at the United Nations, Tara Expeditions also develops a long-term advocacy plans to mobilize civil society and encourage politicians to act concretely on the solutions for the planet.








TED Ed - What really happens to the plastic you throw away?

Emma Bryce traces the life cycle of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present. Questions are provided to answer following a video, along with further learning options which include guided and open discussion questions.








U.S. Pure Water - Educational opportunities for classroom or schoolwide curricular activities

Educational initiatives for classroom or school wide curricular activities focused on saving our environment from the sea of plastic. Includes a list of activities to implement in schools to avoid plastic and become a zero waste school.








University of South Florida, College of Marine Science - Tampa Bay Beach Buddies

This program was designed to get citizens in Tampa Bay, Fla. involved in shore clean ups to all can be free to live, work and play safely in their bay area waters and to make a safe living place for marine animals.  

Grades 4-12:





Waste Wise School Program - Healthy Zero Waste Lunch Toolkit

The Healthy Zero Waste Lunch Toolkit is an operating practices manual that is intended to guide the development and implementation of healthy zero waste lunches in schools. It was developed by the Waste Wise Schools Program which is managed by the Department of Environment and Conservation and supported by the Western Australian Waste Authority through the Waste Management and Recycling Account with additional assistance from the Wrigley Company, a subsidiary of Mars.  The guide offers a school community practical tools for reducing waste production and developing sustainable behaviors that support the Zero Waste philosophy.