Teacher's Resources

Microplastics- Teacher’s Resource


Objective: For students to explore the current environmental issues in Ontario, Canada and around the world.


Materials Needed:

  • Student activity sheets (provided below)

  • Computers, phones, tablets, etc.

  • Teacher resource (provided)


Time Needed:

  • Approximately 1 class period



  • Complete one of the following lessons:

    • ​Geography: A. Physical Patterns in a Changing World

    • Geography: B. Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability

    • Science: A. Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

    • Science: B. Understanding Matter and Energy

  • Book computer lab, computer carts, etc.

  • Print off student activity sheets (1 per person)


Guiding Questions:

  • Why do different people have different responses to the environment and the opportunities and challenges it presents?

  • Why do we need to consider various perspectives when determining the impact of human activities?

  • Why would people continue to use methods that contribute to destroying our environment when there are more environmentally safer ways?

  • Why is it important for companies to find out what consumers want now and what they might want and/or need in the future?

  • What would be the impact on depleted fisheries in a developing nation versus Canada?



  • Organize students into groups of 3 to 4

  • Hand out student activity sheets

  • Have students use the provided websites to access the information

  • Once students are complete the activity sheet, discuss as a class, or have them hand in (answers are provided for you in the teacher resource, please note, students do not have to  answer word for word, as long as they have a general idea)


Integrated Expectations across subject matters:


Language: Reading

  • Read and demonstrate an understanding of informational texts using a range of strategies to construct meaning.

Language: Media Literacy

  • Use overt and implied messages to draw inferences and construct meaning in media texts;

  • Identify whose point of view is presented or reflected in a media text, citing supporting evidence from the text, and suggest how the text might change if a different point of view were used.


  • Analyze the effects of human activities on habitats and communities.


Resources used:




Ewing, B. (Director). (2018). Canada's Plastic Pollution Problem - Take Action [Video file]. Retrieved December 8, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3fcfHgYuZg&feature=emb_title


News, S. (Director). (2018). Dirty Business: What really happens to your recycling [Video file]. Retrieved December 8, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRQLilXLAIU

K. (Director). (2018). Plastic Pollution: How Humans are Turning the World into Plastic [Video file]. Retrieved December 8, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS7IzU2VJIQ


News, C. (Director). (2019). Tracking your plastic: Exposing recycling myths (Marketplace) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8aVYb-a7Uw




Pope, S. (2020, July 06). Researchers find microplastics in nearly every sample taken in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/researchers-find-microplastics-nearly-every-sample-taken-eastern-canadian-arctic

Case - Microplastics. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2020, from http://www.waterkeeper.ca/cases-microplastics


Canada, O. (2020, September 29). Drowning in Plastic: New Report Shows Canada Contributes Disproportionately to the Global Plastic Disaster. Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/09/29/2100540/0/en/Drowning-in-Plastic-New-Report-Shows-Canada-Contributes-Disproportionately-to-the-Global-Plastic-Disaster.html


Newspaper Articles


Semeniuk, I. (2020, June 18). Canadian Arctic awash in microplastics, study finds. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-canadian-arctic-awash-in-microplastics-study-finds/

Desai, D. (2019, August 27). It's raining plastic in Canada, scientists say. But no one knows the source or toxicity. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://nationalpost.com/news/its-raining-plastic-in-canada-scientists-say-but-no-one-knows-the-source-or-toxicity


Government Sources


Canada, E. (2020, October 07). Canada one-step closer to zero plastic waste by 2030. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2020/10/canada-one-step-closer-to-zero-plastic-waste-by-2030.html

Canada, H. (2020, October 09). Government of Canada. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/chemical-substances/fact-sheets/chemicals-glance/plastic-pollution.html


Parks Canada Agency, G. (2018, October 25). Microplastics: More than a drop in the ocean. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/nature/science/conservation/plastique-plastic/microplastique-microplastic

JavaScript is required to view this site. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.ontario.ca/page/microplastics-and-microbeads


Teacher's Resources