Implementation of “Garbage Museum” (SOI-MT-268)

Author: Nicole Borg, Learning Support Educator

School/Organization: SGPC Paola Primary School, Malta

The ‘Garbage Museum’ learning scenario is an innovative educational resource designed to promote environmental awareness and sustainability among students. My implementation of this learning scenario involved incorporating it into a Maths and Science Fieldwork at Selmun, where students could learn about waste reduction and the impact of litter on the environment.

During the fieldwork, students were shocked to discover litter in even remote areas, highlighting the importance of responsible waste management. By integrating the ‘Garbage Museum’ learning scenario into this Maths and Science Fieldwork, I was able to provide students with a hands-on, engaging experience that helped them understand the importance of environmental sustainability.

I chose this learning scenario because I believe it is crucial to teach students about environmental awareness and the importance of reducing waste. This was a fun and educational experience that had a lasting impact on the students’ attitudes towards waste management and sustainability.

The implementation context

Subject: English and Environmental Studies in State Primary School in Malta


To implement the ‘Garbage Museum’ learning scenario from Europeana effectively, I collaborated with one of the Migrant teachers and worked with a group of students aged between 8 and 10 years old. Recognising the importance of collaborative learning for both the teachers and students, we divided the children into groups of three to encourage teamwork and cooperation.

When students worked together in groups, they were encouraged to share their knowledge and experience with each other. This allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of environmental issues, such as waste management, and provided an opportunity to brainstorm new ways to reduce waste and recycle materials. Besides, by sharing their experiences, students learnt from each other’s successes and mistakes, ultimately leading to more effective and sustainable practices.


In order to make the lesson more engaging and interactive, I decided to take the children outdoors and conduct a Maths and Science Fieldwork at Selmun. This provided them with the opportunity to see different types of waste and to observe and reflect on the impact that our actions have on the environment. I believed that this approach would help the children connect with nature and gain a more practical understanding of the impact of waste on the environment.

Through the implementation of the ‘Garbage Museum’ learning scenario, the children were able to explore the impact of litter on their surroundings using different Web 2.0 tools and hands-on activities. Additionally, the outdoor activity allowed them to connect with the natural environment and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of environmental sustainability. By participating in this approach, the children discovered new ways to reduce waste and gained a more profound appreciation for environmental conservation.

Link for Google Drive:

The narrative

The Importance of Classroom Discussions on Waste and Environment: 

The importance of discussing waste and its relation to the environment in the classroom cannot be overstated. In order to educate students about the impact of waste on the environment, a variety of activities were undertaken. Firstly, the children were shown the Europeana videos and pictures related to waste management, as indicated in the lesson plan, followed by a discussion where various questioning techniques were used to ensure that all students participated.

Next, a PowerPoint presentation, which was retrieved from Twinkl, was used to expose the learners to what happens to our rubbish. A discussion was held at the end of the lesson, led by one of the students who is a representative of the EkoSkola team. The importance of waste was discussed, and it was decided that the student would bring up the topic at the next EkoSkola meeting to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn about the importance of recycling.

Link for the PowerPoint:

Promoting Cross-Curricular Learning Through Environmental Fieldwork at Selmun:

During the Maths and Science fieldwork at Selmun, the students were divided into small groups and were given tasks related to waste management. They were required to identify different types of waste. Furthermore, the students were encouraged to come up with ideas on how they can contribute to reducing waste in their school and community. The teachers facilitated the discussion, and the students were given the opportunity to express their ideas and opinions.

By connecting Maths and Science to environmental sustainability, the students gained a deeper understanding of how the environment is interconnected with other subjects. This approach to teaching helped to reinforce the importance of waste management, and it empowered the students to take action and become responsible citizens. 

  Students identifying different types of waste.

Using Web 2.0 Tools to Enhance Learning on Waste Management:

The importance of Web 2.0 tools was also recognised in order to help students realize the significance of waste management. The Mentimeter tool was used for an initial self-evaluation of what the students knew by answering the question, “What does garbage mean to you?” At the end of the lesson, the students were assigned a quiz on waste management to determine whether they had increased their knowledge and awareness through the activities done. 

Link for Quiz: 

The use of Web 2.0 tools provided a more interactive and engaging learning experience for students. In addition, Web 2.0 tools provided the opportunity for students to access information from a variety of sources, allowing them to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the topic. Finally, incorporating Web 2.0 tools into waste management education can help prepare students for the digital skills required in today’s world. 

Mentimeter Tool – an initial self-evaluation of what the students knew.

Quiz – Waste Management

Hands-On Activities to Reinforce Learning about Waste Management and Recycling:

Hands-on activities were incorporated, with students being given various objects that they had to sort out according to the appropriate bin. They also had to create a recycle poster by identifying a room in the house and choosing things from that particular room that can be recycled. These activities helped the students to grasp the importance of waste reduction and recycling in a practical and engaging way.

Sort the Waste Activity Sheet: 

Design a Recycling Poster: 

Hands-on activities provided a practical and engaging way for students to learn about waste management and reinforced the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom. Through activities such as creating a recycle poster, students put into practice the knowledge gained from discussions and presentations, which helped to solidify their understanding and increase their retention of the material. Furthermore, by working together to sort objects or create a poster, students learnt to communicate and cooperate effectively, which are important skills in both academic and personal settings.

By utilising collaborative learning, connecting with nature, and using web 2.0 tools and hands-on activities, this lesson provided a comprehensive learning experience for students about the impact of waste on the environment. 

 Hands-on Activity – Which Bin Does It Go In?

Learning outcomes

Main Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify different types of waste and understand their impact on the environment.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to reduce waste and apply sustainable practices in their daily lives.
  • Demonstrate the ability to reduce waste and apply sustainable practices in their daily lives.
  • Students will be able to create posters or other forms of media to raise awareness about the importance of environmental sustainability.


When using the ‘Garbage Museum’ learning scenario, it is important for teachers to prioritise safety. When conducting the lesson outdoors, ensure that the environment is safe for the students and that they are always supervised. To make the lesson more engaging and interactive, consider incorporating hands-on activities, such as litter picking or waste sorting, that allow the children to explore the impact of litter on their surroundings. Finally, ensure that there is time for reflection and discussion at the end of the lesson, allowing the children to share their thoughts and ideas on environmental sustainability.

Outcomes for the educator

Personal and Professional Benefits of Teaching Waste Management:

As an educator, teaching students about waste management has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It has allowed me to raise awareness about environmental issues and help students become more responsible and environmentally conscious citizens. By incorporating a variety of teaching methods, including hands-on activities, cross-curricular teaching, and web 2.0 tools, I have been able to engage students and help them learn in a more interactive and enjoyable way.

To other educators thinking about using arts and science digital heritage in their activities, I would say that it is a great way to enhance the learning experience for students. Using Europeana resources can provide a wealth of information and help students develop a deeper understanding of the topics being covered. It can also help to make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging.

When using Europeana resources, educators and participants should watch out for ensuring that the resources are age-appropriate and relevant to the topic being covered. They should also be mindful of copyright laws and ensure that any images or videos used are properly cited. Finally, it is important to provide clear instructions and guidance to students to ensure that they are making effective use of the resources and getting the most out of their learning experience.

Collaborating with the Migrants Teacher:

Collaborating with the Migrants Teacher allowed us to better facilitate the process of reaching out to all students, including those who were foreigners and may have had a limited understanding of the local context. By working together, we were able to ensure that all students were able to fully engage with the activities and understand the importance of waste management in our community. This collaboration also allowed us to bring in different perspectives and ideas, enhancing the learning experience for all students.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?  Garbage Museum (LS-TR-734) created by  Iayrancıoğlu

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

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