Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Austin Large

Animal Waste

Part of Unit: Animals: Their importance, Domestication, and Role

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

This is an overview lesson of animal waste and its potential use in an agricultural setting.  During the course of the lesson students will identify the main types and categories of agricultural animal waste, as well as describe and discuss ways to recycle the waste.

Lesson Time

1 Block Period
90 Minutes

Objectives and Goals

  • Students will identify the three main types of agricultural (animal) wastes.
  • Students will describe two ways to recycle manure so that it can be utilized by livestock.

Activities in this Lesson

  • Dumpster Diving Hooks / Set

    When students enter the room they should be greeted by four heaping piles of trash collected from the school trash cans located at their tables or lab stations.  As students enter the room, count them off into four separate groups, have them select a pair of latex/rubber gloves, and take a seat by their group's pile of trash. Deliver the following contextual/direction set:

    Good morning( afternoon) ladies and gentlemen! Today on my daily walk around campus I couldn't help but notice how full our trashcans are, and it's only (state the name of the period or the time of the day).  I figured as I was walking that I would save the janitor some trouble, and that we as a class could help determine what in these trashbags was truly "trash", and what could be recycled and used again.  When I say "dive", your groups will have 10 minutes to separate the real "trash" from those items that we can reuse.  All "trash will need to be placed in the empty black trash bag near your station, and all items that can be recycled will be placed in the white bag underneath that. What questions are there? "Dive"

    Allow the groups time to dig through the items, and make sure they truly are getting every recyclable item that is in their heap.  Give audible time updates, but do not move on until each group has their heap of trash filled into their two bags. Once every group has completed the task, process the activity with them.

    What just happened? **We sorted garbage, Found items to recycle, Got dirty, etc.

    What is important about what we just did? **Helped the janitor, cleaned up campus, found "trash" that we could turn into money.

    What do you mean we can make our garbage into money? **You can recycle and they pay you

    EXACTLY! Obviously, we has humans make waste.  You have been up to your neck in your own waste for the last 15 minutes.  If we hadn't of gone through our trash, we would have literally been throwing money into the dump by not fetching those recyclable materials.  Just like we have to identify what of our waste is truly "trash", and what can be reused - agriculturalists are coming to a point where they must do the same for their operations. 

    Today, we are going to take a look at the types of waste that can be created by animal agriculture operations.  Taking it a step further, we are going to look into ways that the "waste" that is created can be used by agricultural operations to decrease input costs, and increase the bottom line for many agricultural operations! 

  • Before you get started with the lecture portion, facilitate the clean up of the trash activity.  Deliver the following instructions:

    Before we go any further, we are going to need to clean up this mess! When I say "dumpster" one representative from your group will take the black trash bag out to the trashcan in the hallway.  Another member of your group will need to bring the white bags filled with recyclables to the front behind my desk.  One member of the team will need to dispose of our gloves, and one member needs to come and see me for a disinfectant wipe for your table. When we are finished, resume your seats and await further instructions. We will have 60 seconds to complete this task.  Questions? DUMPSTER!

    Make sure that all members of the groups are participating in clean up, and keep the energy level high so that they finish in a timely manner.

    WONDERFUL! Coming around to you now is a guided note sheet.  You will need to have a writing utensil in hand so that you can fill in the blanks as we go!

    Use the attached powerpoint and guided note sheet to teach students about the different types of animal waste.

    Resources and Materials

    • Animal Waste Presentation [ Download ]
    • Animal Waste Guided Note Sheet [ Download ]
  • Now that you have covered with them the facts about animal waste, it is time for them to become the experts on the potential uses of animal wastes.  With students still sitting in their groups, deliver the following contextual/direction set for the next activity.

    Whew, that was a lot of information about animal waste! Thank you so much for hanging tight with me through that, and let's keep that focus as we move forward.  Now that we have the facts about animal waste, it is time that you all become the experts on the potential uses of that waste.  In a moment, your group will be given some information, you will have five minutes as a group to read through the information that your group has been given, and identify three important facts, ideas, or statements. You will be sharing your findings with your classmates, so make sure that you keep track of those three points. When your group has finished, focus your attention back front so that I know we can move forward.

    Pass out the "Animal Waste Use" Handouts to the four different groups.  Group 1 gets Fertilizer, Group 2 gets Feed, Group 3 gets Energy, and Group 4 get Bedding/By-Product use. Make sure that each member gets a sheet, and that they be ready to share what their group has determinied to be the most important information.

    Great work groups! You have now each become experts on a potential use for animal waste.  In true expert fashion, we are going to go on a lecture tour, to share what we know about potential uses for animal waste, and hear from other experts right here in our very own classroom! Here's how this is going to look.  When I say "share" you will need to locate one member from each of the other three groups to form a new group with you.  Once you are in your groups, you will each share the information that you have learned about your use with the other experts.  After you have shared, you will capture down information that the other experts are sharing on your "Animal Waste Use Info Sheet". After all of your group members have shared, return to your original seat.  What questions are there? Again, you will be in a group of four, with a member from each of the other groups. SHARE!

    Help students quickly get into groups and begin sharing their information.  Make sure that they are recording the facts from other groups on their handouts. When students have finished sharing and made their way back to their seats, process what they have just done.

    Great! Who will be willing to share what they learned from the representative from the Fertilizer Group? Continue until all groups have had some information shared. Nice work experts, seems like you were all right on track with the information that you shared with the other experts in your group!

    Resources and Materials

  • After the students have shared what they learned during the peer teaching activity, get them ready to move into the next activity.

    Alright experts, now that we have all of this knowledge on the potential uses of animal waste - it is time to apply that knowledge to some scenarios.  In a moment, our original dumpster diving groups will be given a scenario, and it will be our task to determine what can be done with the waste that can is being produced.  Please know that there is no one correct answer or solution to these scenarios - so I am trusting you, the experts, to collectively use the information that you have to come to a sound decision on how to manage and use your waste.  Once your group has been given the scenario, you will have 15 minutes to develop a poster that explains your situation, and how your group is proposing to manage and/or use the waste that is produced in that scenario.  How can I clarify my expectations? When I say "solve", the person with the longest hair will come forward to collect the materials for your presentation. Solve!

    Distribute materials to each group, and make sure to continue to facilitate and answer questions.  Give time updates, and if they are creating a quality product, consider allowing them more time to complete the task.

    I love what I am seeing here folks! Before we share what our groups have come up with, we need to take care of these materials.  Make sure the markers get back in their box, and the person with the shortest hair in your group will need to bring those to me now. 

    Wonderful!  Now that we have had some time to consider these scenarios, and the possible options, it's time to share.  Group 1, grab your poster, and share with us what you came up with for your scenario. Have each group come up and share - if you feel as though they missed something, open the discussion up to the class to share their input. Have each group come up and share their solution to the scenario they were given.

    Resources and Materials

  • After the groups have shared their presentations, get them into a playful state and ready to participate in the Party Host Review.

    Nice work today experts! Man, after a long and busy day like this my favorite thing to do when I get home is watch some good 'ole TV.  How many of us in here like to watch TV? What are some of our favorite shows? Allow a few students to share. Those are all great, but MY all time favorite show, it hands down, WHOSE LINE IT IS ANYWAY! Has anyone seen this show before?! It is amazing what those guys are able to come up with at a drop of a hat! My FAVORITE game that they play on that show is called Party Quirks....Let's check it out.

    Show the "Party Quirks" Youtube clip to show students what you are talking about!

    See what I mean! So dang funny! Believe it or not ladies and gents, we are going to be participating in our very own version of WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY, in our PARTY HOST game! Here's whats need to happen, first I need a volunteer....GREAT! __________ will be our Party Host.  It will be __________ responsibility to identify our wacky guests who will be acting out the types of waste, and potential uses of waste.  So, lets get seven party guests! Get students to volunteer to be party guests, and provide them with an index card which tells them what they need to act out.  The index cards should have the following words on them: solid waste, liquid waste, gasses, waste as fertilizer, waste as feed, waste as energy, waste as bedding. Let's give it up for our party guests! Will the 7 of you please head outside and wait to be buzzed in! Alright audience, here is what we need to do, we need to help our party host identify those party guests and what they are acting out.  If they seem to be struggling, help them out by offering up some options for them to guess!  What questions do we have? LET THE PARTY BEGIN. 

    Bring students in one at a time, and allow them to interact with the host.  Let the audience help out, and once all of the guests have been identified, have everyone return to their seats!

    Resources and Materials

  • Once again ladies and gentlemen, NICE WORK today! It was great to see you interacting with each other and having fun!  Folks, we have covered a lot today! We talked about why it is important to manage animal waste, we obtained some facts about animal waste, and finally we learned about possible uses of animal waste, and reinforced it all through our Party Host game!  This information is going to be important to us as we start to head out to the school farm and work with animals on a regular basis!

    Since we have had so much fun together today, we are going to give ourselves a fireworks clap on three, 1, 2, 3!

    Thanks again for a great day!

  • -Trash from around campus (good mix of trash and recyclables)

    - Black plastic bags

    - White plastic bags

    - PowerPoint on Animal Waste

    - Guided Note Sheet (1 per student)

    - Animal Waste Use Handout (1 per student)/Animal Waste Use Info Sheet (1 per student) - Make a front to back copy to conserve paper.

    - Scenarios (1 per group)

    - Tearsheets and Markets (1 set per group)

    - Youtube Clip/Projector with speakers