Educating for Sustainability


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Wastewater Context for Matter and its Interactions

Is there a problem in Puget Sound?

Students are introduced to wastewater issues by doing a jigsaw reading of the issues faced by the organisms in the sound. Students read and share information from 4 articles gathered from local sources to discover the extent of the problem.

Lesson Specs

Suitable for Grades

8th Grade
7th Grade
6th Grade

Satisfies Academic Standards: 

Sustainable System Focus:

Buildings and Urban Planning

Academic Subjects


Submitted by:

Jeffrey Burgard

Last Updated:

Content Connection


Community Relevance

A lot of the the economy and recreation in the Puget sound is based on the Puget sound and the organisms that live there. Students need to be aware that the actions they are taking are having a negative impact on the sound.

Lesson Plan



  1. Powerpoint slides



  1. Salmon on Drugs Article
  2. Shellfish Cannot say “no” to drugs
  3. How your clothes are poisoning our oceans and food supply
  4. Polluting the water with toothpaste and household chemicals
  5. Student Sheet - Process grid


Time needed: .5 to .75 of a class period

The Lesson

  1. Provide each person in a group of 4 with a different articles.
  2. Provide students with an amount of time to read and gather information about their article (7-10 minutes)
  3. Group students by article - two groups per article- for them to confirm and solidify their information
  4. Have students report back to their group and share what their information with the rest of the group. As students report, all other students in group record in their own process grid.
  5. Facilitate a class discussion where representatives from each group share their responses and you fill out the grid with them on screen with the PowerPoint provided.
  6. In the discussion: let students know that drugs get into the water by people dumping them into toilets and simply peeing after they are taken. Reassure students because some will feel guilty because they have to take medication. Tell them that human health is important, we just have to find a way to get the substances out cheaply and easily. Maybe they will be the one that figure it out

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