Bringing the “Journey of a Plastic Bag” to Life

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After delving deeper into the environmental impact of single-use plastic bags, students use storyboards
to prepare a creative way to share this information and encourage others to change their habits

Grade level: 4-6

Learning Objectives:
– Recognize the impact of plastics on climate change and the
– Plan and create a means of sharing information about this
impact with others

During this activity, students will:
– Explore the impact of single-use plastic bags on the
environment, from the manufacturing process to disposal
– Use the Journey of a Plastic Bag Storyboard to creatively
express the environmental impact of plastic
– Share this message with others and reflect on how it was


Set up:

Before beginning:
1. Prepare copies of the Journey of a Plastic Bag and the Journey of a Plastic Bag Storyboard for the class
2. Decide the creative way in which the students will share their messages or if they will choose


1. Ask students to scan The Journey of a Plastic Bag for unfamiliar vocabulary. They can discuss and
research to clarify potentially problematic terms, e.g.:

Earth Rangers’ P2050 Climate Change Word Glossary gives a brief description of these terms

2. Have the students read the Journey of a Plastic bag individually.

3. After reading, check for understanding by asking students to identify:

  • the natural resource that plastic bags are made from
  • events during the bag’s journey that emit heat trapping GHGs into the atmosphere
  • events during the bag’s journey that could cause other types of damage to animals and their habitats
  • how long most plastic bags are used before they are thrown away
  • the percentage of plastic that actually gets recycled


As a class, list Feelings, Thoughts and Questions provoked by the Journey of a Plastic Bag

Continue the discussion. The following questions can be used as a guide:

  • How can we find answers to these questions?
  • What effects can other single-use plastics have an effect on the environment?
  • How can we prevent plastics from entering the environment?
  • How can we share our learning with others? (some ideas below)


1. Have the students pick a medium to express their message about the effect of plastics on the
environment and how we can change our habits to improve the situation, or select one for them, for

  • Persuasive letter
  • Persuasive essay
  • Slideshow
  • Video
  • Song lyrics
  • A drawing

2. Working individually or in a group, students use The Story of the Plastic Bag Storyboard to map out
their letter, essay, song lyrics, slideshow, video, or drawing.

3. Once students have finished their outline, give them time to work on their project (the amount of
time depends on the project).

4. Offer a way for the students to share their creations with others – i.e. with classmates, electronically
with the school and families, communities. Take time afterwards to reflect on how their audience
reacted to their message.


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