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Project Look Sharp, Sox Sperry


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 15-30 minutes
  • Lesson Plans
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 26 seconds
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 3 seconds
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 11 seconds

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

Food Waste: What’s the Problem? What’s the Solution?

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  • In this media literacy activity, students will watch and analyze videos on food waste problems and solutions. 
  • Students will learn that food waste is an environmental and human rights problem. 
  • This resource includes a student lesson plan and three video clips. 
Teaching Tips
  • This lesson plan includes discussion questions for several academic subjects.
  • Students will learn that global food production could feed the global population, but the food is not distributed equitably, resulting in food waste and hunger.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Teachers must create a free account to access the materials.
  • The videos "Food Waste: The World's Dumbest Environmental Problem" and "Earth Day 1970-2019: No Time to Waste" contain no audio narration, so some students may benefit from frequent pauses to read the text.
  • Students could respond to questions individually or in small groups before discussing their answers as a class.
  • Students could keep a food waste journal to record how much food they throw away each week, then come up with an action plan to waste less food.
  • Economics classes could evaluate how food waste affects the profit margin of different groups such as grocery stores, restaurants, and school cafeteria food providers. Students could come up with solutions for how these groups could waste less food to improve their profits.
  • Other resources on this topic include this activity on creating solutions for eliminating food waste and this Project Drawdown article on how reducing food waste will decrease carbon emissions.
Scientist Notes

Food waste is a global problem that increases our carbon footprint by releasing methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This resource is good as it provides insights on how to curb food waste and mitigate climate change impact. The resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.9-12.9 Assess how perspective or purpose shapes the content and style of various texts.
    • Speaking and Listening (K-12)
      • SL.9-12.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D1): Students understand the ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in the United States and in the American political system, as well as examples of other forms of government and political systems in the world by evaluating and comparing the relationship of citizens with government in the United States and other regions of the world.
    • Personal Finance & Economics
      • Personal Finance (F1): Students understand the principles and processes of personal finance by explaining how scarcity influences choices and relates to the market economy.
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