Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4 
Preactivity: A Student Litter Survey

 Lesson Objective: Students will discover their own attitudes and habits of littering.

Background: People are major sources of marine debris. A survey of student littering behaviors will allow teachers to discover why students litter. At the same time, it will allow students to examine their own habits and attitudes about littering. While teaching this unit, teachers can use the "before survey" answers to draw students into discussions of marine debris by emphasizing their direct role in the problem. In addition, teachers may compare "after survey" answers with "before survey answers" to determine if students' attitudes toward littering have been changed by this teaching unit. Students also can compare these answers to examine whether their own attitudes have changed.

Activity: Print out and distribute the litter survey before teaching the Beach Buddies unit and ask students to answer each question honestly. Have the students complete the survey and hand it in anonymously. This way, students can finish the survey without feeling pressured to answer the "right" way.

Once the "after survey" has been completed, discuss with the students if and how their attitudes about littering have changed. Ask the students if they will make more of an effort not to litter now that they have learned about marine debris.

Vocabulary: Survey, marine debris

Subjects: Language arts, Social Studies, Science

Learning Skills: Analyzing, collecting data, comparing and contrasting

Grade level: 4-12

Litter Survey


1. Have you ever littered?  YES / NO (circle one)   YES / NO (circle one)
2. If yes, why? 

A. It was convenient. 

B. Didn't think it was bad. 

C. Didn't care. 

D. It was an accident.

2. Have you ever made a special effort not to litter?    YES / NO (circle one)   YES / NO (circle one)
3. If yes, why? 

A. Litter is ugly. 

B. Someone else has to pick it up. 

C. Littler hurts animals and people. 

D. It is illegal.

2. If you saw someone else litter you would: 

A. Tell him/her to stop. 

B. Pick up the litter yourself. 

C. Tell someone (like a teacher or a police officer). 

D. Do nothing.