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Earth Day Action Science: Dissect a Happy Meal! Make a Trash Troll!

from Author Valerie Marsh

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Ever wonder about the trash that just one Happy Meal creates? Dissect a real Happy Meal with us and find out! Discover how long common items take to decompose. Use sign language to sing a song about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Learn actions you can take to help our Earth! We adapt this program to your grade level! 

Program Rating

   based on 13 evaluation(s).

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About This Program


By Request: $140.00
By Request Premium: $130.00


45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) Pre-K Students, Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Homeschoolers Public Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

Just one!

Maximum participants:

Two classes together or about 45 students for optimum interactivity.

Primary Disciplines

Service Learning, Community Interests, Health/Physical Education, Career Education, Family & Consumer Science, Language Arts/English, Performing Arts, Sciences, Character Education, Literacy, Writing, Reading, Problem Solving, Leadership Storytelling

Program Delivery Mode


Booking Information

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

No charge for cancellations due to weather.

About This Provider

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Author Valerie Marsh

Johns Island, SC
United States

     Valerie is the author of 13 storytelling books, a writing teacher, and storyteller. Her books include Paper Cutting Stories A to Z, A Treasury of Trickster Tales, Mystery-Fold: Stories to Tell Draw, and Fold, and Story Puzzles: Tales in the Tangram Tradition. Other books include Puppet Tales, and Heroes & Heroines.
     Valerie uses unique ways to tell tales for all ages including "Paper-Cutting" (fold and cut), "Mystery-Fold" (draw and fold), "Story Puzzles" (creating tangram figures), and Sign Language, She offers workshops for students, and professional development for teachers. Her story methods are easy, involve audience participation and get kids excited about writing! No matter which program you request, Valerie tailors her program to your class! Easy and fun!
      Miss Liz Science Wiz joins Valerie for the Action Science programs. Miss Liz uses puppets and physical actions to anchor basic scientific facts presented in our programs. Miss Liz will have your students acting out all kinds of physical and life science concepts!

Please note: All of our programs are for learners in school or at home, or both!

Author Valerie Marsh
317 441 0158

Program Details


1. We begin this program with a vote. "Raise your hand if you have ever eaten a Happy Meal"
2. We identify and count the items in a Happy Meal.
3. We predict how many pieces of trash there are in one Happy Meal
4. We carefully dissect a real Happy Meal and tally the food items vs the trash items. We discuss this amazing result.and then use math to calculate the number of trash items that their entire class or grade level would generate!
5. Students learn the terms and sign language for "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," and apply them to their classroom by identifying items that in their classroom that match these terms. We discuss how they are already doing this and how can they do more.
6. Then we show common objects and ask students to guess how long these items take to decompose. Students predict the number of years that these items take to decompose.
8. After a short story, students use their art skills to decorate a brown paper lunch bag to turn it into a "Trash Troll" litter bag to keep in their family car.
9. We review with a "Call to Action" and review our sign language for "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."


Students will:
understand and define vocabulary terms: litter, reduce, reuse, recycle
be able to name definite actions that they themselves can take in order to reduce, reuse, recycle
compare the length of time different items take to decompose
understand the detrimental affects of litter on our environment
be able to make a positive decision regarding trash disposal
develop an appreciation for the problems that local littering causes
engage in activities of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" in the student's own live

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Standards for Earth Day program
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.1 to .4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.1 to .7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.1 to .3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1 to .6
"Understand and communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air and living things in our local and global environments."

State Standards

Valerie will identify your state standards if you would like. Just let her know!