All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

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All That Trash Summary

What would you do if you had to get rid of 3,186 tons of trash? This was a problem that Lowell Harrelson thought he could handle. He rented a barge, loaded it with trash from New York City and Long Island, and shipped it to North Carolina. He had an innovative plan for the trash once it reached land, but NC refused the delivery. What was Harrelson to do?
In All That Trash by Meghan McCarthy, we learn about the true story of trash that traveled for two months. McCarthy does an exceptional job making this piece of history fascinating. Readers will enjoy the illustrations that enrich the engaging storyline. Information and pictures at the end of the book answer questions readers may have about the news event.

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Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Curate/Create IV.B.1 Learners gather information appropriate to the task by seeking a variety of sources.

  • Invite learners to ask questions they have about the trash business. Record questions on chart paper.
  • Divide learners into groups to find answers to their questions using books and online resources.
  • Ask learners to share an interesting resource and describe it. Model how to record their ideas with Synth, a podcasting tool learners can contribute to.

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