IDEAS FOR PARENTS &

​EDUCATORS

HOW DOES PLASTIC GET INTO THE OCEAN?

UK MARINE CHARITIES & ORGANISATIONS

Surfers Against Sewage – SAS www.sas.org.uk/

A national marine conservation and campaigning charity that inspires, unites and empowers communities to take action to protect oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife. Find out more about their educational resources and beach clean ups in your area.

Marine Conservation Society ​ www.mcsuk.org/

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the voice for everyone who loves the sea. We work to secure a future for our living seas, and to save our threatened marine wildlife before it is lost forever.

#2 Minute Beach Clean beachclean.net/

We are a growing family of beach lovers rolling up our sleeves to help rid the world’s beaches of marine litter and plastic pollution, two minutes at a time. We believe that every piece of litter removed from the beach matters. So it doesn’t matter if you do 2 minutes or 30. Each and every piece of marine plastic removed from the beach is a piece that will no longer go on to kill.

Fathoms Free fathomsfree.org/

We are a group of volunteer Conservationists who refuse to simply stand by and watch, whilst our seas turn into uninhabitable dumping grounds. The problems posed by marine debris are as diverse as the techniques used to overcome them. As Divers we are in a unique position to assist in tackling this threat.

TEACHING IDEAS

Ideas for using Duffy’s story as part of the wider primary National Curriculum (UK). Read Duffy’s story or use sections of the book to generate discussion and to inspire children to make changes to the world around them. The book can be used as a stand alone lesson or series of lessons or can be used to introduce a concept to the children such as recycling, plastic-free lunch boxes etc.

English

​Choose another marine animal e.g. a whale or dolphin. Write a story about how they need help from people e.g. seagull swallowing a fishing hook, a whale stuck in a net, a shark hit by a boat, a dolphin stranded on a beach.

Choose one setting from the book and write a list of descriptive words – now use those words to describe a different or opposite setting e.g. on the first page we learn about Duffy’s natural habitat – warm, tropical, sun, shallow sea – using the opposites of these words – cold, dark, deep etc

Imagine you are a piece of rubbish. Describe your journey from land to sea – e.g. drinks bottle, balloon, food wrapper. Thrown away, down a drain, into a pipe, into a river, out to sea. Can illustrate your journey – cartoon strip.

Choose a setting from the book – write a poem or song about how Duffy was feeling. Explore the wider setting and add in other characters. Eg during the storm – lost, lonely, afraid – can add in a seagull who helped her find her way or a fish who didn’t help her.

Pick a page from the book and underline all the descriptive words. Now write out their opposites and draw a picture to show the different setting those words describe.

Maths

Carry out a plastic survey in your classroom or at home – how many items are made of plastic, could they be made of something else that is reusable e.g. plastic bottles could be made of glass, plastic chairs could be made of wood etc. Display your results in a chart or graph.

Sort out recycling into different categories – plastic, glass, paper, cans etc – how many fall into each category? Display as a chart or graph.

Big numbers – because this is a global problem there is a lot of big numbers used to show the scale of the problem. 100 million sea creatures die every year due to plastics in our oceans. 1 million sea birds, 100,000 whales and dolphins etc. Can the children think of ways to portray these numbers in an infograph – could design this on the computer.

Measure how big you are compared to the size of turtles e.g. are you as big as a Leatherback? Could mark the sizes of the turtles on the wall and each child measures themselves to see where they fit in. What other things are as big as a turtle e.g. a chair is as big as a Hawksbill. See resources for table of turtle heights. Could portray this as a class graph.

Sort any collected beach rubbish into categories for recycling or others e.g. rubbish from people, rubbish from fishing boats, rubbish from industry.

Science

Draw a table comparing sea turtle characteristics – can do research at home or school, on computer or in library. Include how heavy, how long, what food they eat, where they live, what they look like, how many are left in the world etc – could also do this as a card sort activity. Could then be separated into groups to produce a poster on each turtle i.e. one group is Leatherbacks and they have to produce a poster and then present it to the rest of the class.

Watch the first few minutes of Finding Nemo. Talk about what a coral reef is like – warm, shallow sea, lots of different types of creatures and corals etc. Has anyone ever visited a coral reef? What was it like? Why do you think so many animals live here?

Sea Turtle adaptations – how have sea turtles adapted from tortoises for their marine environment? Larger front flippers for powering through the water, smaller back flippers for steering, specially designed throats for eating jellyfish, specially adapted beaks for eating coral and crustaceans etc

​Draw and label the parts of a turtle.

Geography

On a local map on the whiteboard or on photocopies, trace the source of your local river. How many towns does it pass through on its way to the sea? Where does it come into the sea? What problems might the town at the coast have to deal with that the town further inland wouldn’t? i.e. plastic pollution washed down the river, flooding, agricultural runoff – pesticides and fertilisers will affect beach water quality. Redraw the route of the river into workbooks. Make sure it is labelled and has a key.

Show a picture example of sea pollution in a poor country – why is the problem worse in poor countries? What can be done about it.

Art & Design & Technology

Copy one illustration from the book – focus on the setting e.g. bright colours for coral reef, dark shadows for when Duffy is lost – think about the emotion Duffy is feeling and how that links in with the illustration.

Draw or make a sea turtle – use a variety of mediums – eg paper plate and tissue paper, crayons and paints, sketch and fine detail.

Design a beach clean poster to educate people about how to do a mini beach clean – can be all the safety rules or just focus on one.

Design a beach clean poster to advertise for an upcoming event your school or group is doing – the best one can then be sent out to all students and parents.

Create something out of beach rubbish – can be abstract or a picture, individual or a group – see Zillah’s Art for inspiration.

Add illustrations to any of your literacy work e.g. poem, story etc

Can you think of any ways to help solve this problem – get creative e.g. a giant sea hoover – what special features would you want it to have – can be funny and imaginative.

Create a sea turtle diorama in a shoe box.

PE & Music

Beach clean or litter pick around school or clubhouse – physical activity in an outdoors environment

Using music from any of the underwater children’s films e.g. Finding Nemo, Reef, Sharks Tale, Little Mermaid, ask children to come up with a simple dance routine or series of movements – think of a turtle swimming and diving or just freestyle dancing!

Get creative with games – substitute traditional games with turtles e.g. whats the time Mr Wolf? Whats the time Mr Turtle? You can all be pieces of rubbish or jellyfish that the turtle is trying to catch. Grandmother’s footsteps – Catch the Turtle – all the children creeping up are fishing nets trying to creep up on the unsuspecting turtle (like ghost fishing gear). Stuck in the Mud – every time the children are tagged they are a turtle stuck on the surface of the water.

Thinking about tropical reef environments, try to get a calypso beat going with the children – use musical instruments – can sing along or tap along to any of the children’s films Little Mermaid – Under the Sea for example.

Language

Choose a country and language e.g. Mexico & Spanish. Design a poster that can be used to educate children about the ways they can help save the turtles or how plastic is a danger to turtles. Make it very visual and use simple language.

Computing

Research skills to look up turtle information

Design a poster

Typing out final copy of a poem or short story for display

History

Why do we use so much plastic? How was it invented and how long have we been using it for? How long does it take to break down – what will the world be like in 500 years time?

How long have sea turtles been around for? What other animals lived at this time? Why are there so few turtles left now? – people hunting them for meat, eggs, shells, decoration etc.

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