3A. Myth Busters


Is it fact or is it fiction? Explore a statements validity in this myth busting assignment.


1) Introduce these statements to your class and discuss which you have heard:

  • There is an island of floating plastic in the middle of the ocean.
  • Plastic in the ocean primarily comes from ocean dumping or dirty beach goers.
  • Most plastic is recycled.
  • We can solve the problem by collecting all the plastic pollution floating in the ocean.
  • 90% of plastic in the ocean comes from 10 rivers.
  • Biodegradable plastics will solve the plastic pollution problem.
  • Plastic only pollutes when it becomes litter.
  • A plastic bottle floating in the ocean will disappear after 450 years

2) In groups or individually, have students research at least one statement to identify which aspects are fact and which have become fictionalized over time. Make sure to cite sources.

3) Have students independently or within their groups share the 'true story' behind their statement(s) with the class. Students may choose different formats to share including presentation, debate, illustration, infographic etc.

4) As a class, discuss why it is important to think critically about what you hear, question and understand science behind frequently shared claims, and be aware of the 'truth' behind claims you make in life and in your activities.

 5) Post your group's or personal thoughts in the form of a blog (Please format discussion titles as follows; Activity Number: Blog Title, Your city, and your name(s)). Afterwards, check back and comment on at least 2 other blog posts.

Learning Objectives

  • Consider the changes in knowledge over time as tools and technologies have developed. 
  • Critically analyze the validity of information in secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems. 
  • Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions.
  • Assess the justification for competing accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy of evidence, including data

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