This project aims to help students consider the lifeline of the objects they use.
The assignment can take many forms; pictured above are students working on a mural illustrating the average quantity of objects that one person uses in a year. The students created a large heap representing a landfill and stenciled their objects within. The class had a good time calculating the objects they use and deciding which objects to include in their landfills.
This project is a nice break from the design-heavy object making and gives students a chance to do some 2-D work. It is also a good segue into the discussion of recycling and upcycling. Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. The project potential using upcycling is limitless.
I have been teaching art and design at the middle and high school level since 2006 and learning about both for a lot longer.