At-home and at school learning resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future
Week 35: SDG #14 - Life below water
This week's LIO is all about UN SDG #14 - Life below water. Our planet is made habitable thanks to the ocean and all the global systems it drives. Because of this, we must make sure we conserve and sustainably use all of the resources that the ocean provides us with. Currently, over 3 billion people around the world depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their everyday life. Oceans are our planet's life support and play a critical role in regulating global climate systems. It's important we take care of them!

The activities below introduce students to a number of issues surrounding our oceans and shares some ideas on how we can all reduce the waste and garbage we produce to ensure a healthy ecosystem!
Friends, Issac and James, embark on a discovery adventure as they learn how the careless act of tossing a plastic bottle into a storm drain contributes to the huge marine litter problems impacting our oceans. The journey becomes personal when they learn their favourite beach is closed due to pollution, and they are motivated to become part of the solution.

  • Watch All the Way to the Ocean and discuss ways that marine animals get hurt when there is trash in the ocean
  • Have students pick their favourite ocean animal and draw a picture of it. Under the picture, they can write what they can do to keep that animal safe, using what they learned in the video
  • Complete Getting Out of a Bind, a simple activity that teaches empathy for wildlife by simulating an animal’s entanglement in plastic litter
  • Play the Early Bird Gets the Plastic to help students understand how animals can mistake plastic for food
  • Listen to Finn the Fortunate Tiger Shark and his Fantastic Friends. Select one or more of the activities suggested in the teacher’s guide. End with an arts and crafts or maker session activity
What did you think of All the Way to the Ocean?
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A Million Bottles a Minute is an educational program designed to raise awareness of the single-use plastic issue. The resource provides students with an overview of the plastics problem through a variety of engaging and hands-on activities. Students learn about its impact, widespread existence, and ways to make a difference and become part of the solution to the problem. The resource includes eight activities to help teachers educate and engage students on the importance of the global plastics issue.

  • Watch Open Your Eyes to the Reality of Plastic Pollution to learn how plastic has a devastating effect on animals, the environment and humans
  • Complete the Plastics in my Day activity. (LSF 2020) Write or draw everything you use throughout the day that is made of plastic
  • Have students complete the Oil Spill Stem Challenge, a hands-on activity that simulates an oil spill and challenges students to clean up the simulated disaster and its effect on wildlife
  • Get inspired by Youth Taking Action. (LSF 2020) Have a look at just a few of the amazing actions youth are taking in Canada to combat single-use plastics and tackling the different facets of sustainability 
  • Commit to making personal changes; here are a few ideas on how you can commit to making the world a better place by changing some of your habits or starting new ones. Write down your commitments to action (LSF 2020)
What did you think of A Million Bottles a Minute?
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The lesson focuses on the widespread practice of plastic packaging and the problems it creates. It is one of a series of lessons within the World’s Largest Lesson that explores the circular economy. Students evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ method of managing waste and are then tasked with designing alternative approaches to packaging that removes waste entirely from the system.

  • Use this guide (LSF 2020) to work through the Redesigning Plastics slide show
  • To illustrate an example of the need to rethink our plastics economy, view this short video Midway - A Message from the Gyre. Please note that students may find this video difficult to watch
  • Learn more about the concept of Circular Economy and its environmental and economic benefits. The Make & Remake activity will inspire students to apply a remake, reuse and recycle model in creating an entirely new product from recycled materials 
  • Can you design better packaging or a better product system that allows it easier to return? Using the Design Challenge template, see if you can build a better product that supports the circular economy
What did you think of Redesigning Plastic Packaging?
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About Learning Inside Out

Above you will find a selection of activities, broken down by various grade levels. These guides will be released weekly and archived on our Learning Inside Out page, so you can always access the full catalogue.

All activities have been modified from resources on our R4R database, simplified and adapted for both outdoor learning in the school yard or at-home as needed. The activity descriptions above should contain all the information and links that you need!

If you'd like to view the full original resource on R4R, including curriculum connections for every province/territory, click the activity title.

We want this guide to work for you, so your feedback is invaluable to us.
Use the feedback button at the bottom of this Guide, or email us at We would also love to see photos of students engaging in the activities, please e-mail us any pictures or videos you have!
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Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) is a Canadian charity with over 25 years of experience working within the education system. Our Resources for Rethinking (R4R) database is an award-winning collection of resources that are peer-reviewed by certified teachers and connected to curriculum in all provinces and territories. R4R is recommended on many Ministry of Education websites.
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