This model includes Mr. and Mrs. O'Leary's home on concrete (to demonstrate impervious surfaces), her rose garden she sprays with pesticide (colored sprinkles), the driveway where the son washes his car (foaming soap) and changes his oil (food coloring), the dog they walk through the golf course (animal waste is chocolate sprinkles), the cow pasture by the stream (chocolate sprinkles), the lettuce (monoculture) field (colored sprinkles to kill grasshoppers), and a mall and toy factory. I made the cows and dog out of Sculpey and found the house, car, and tractor (it leaks "oil") at Savers. The trees are modeling clay (absorbing run-off from mall and parking area) and sponge shows absorptive action of roots once all the "pollutants" and water are added. The fence keeps the cows out of the stream so they don't pollute it. I suggest chickens to eat the grasshoppers among the lettuce and beetles in the roses. The golf course sprays the dandelions so we tell them we LIKE the dandelions.
Here's our "rain" bottle to show how all the pollutants run together, untreated, off impervious surfaces and into storm drains, streams, and other water collection areas. The students love adding the sprinkles, food coloring, soap, etc. as I explain what each represent. They need to be guided on how to prevent or clean up each instance of pollution. I also show them Peanut, the turtle who became trapped in a plastic six-pack ring and who's shell became deformed over time, before demonstrating how to cut the soda rings.
Lesson Plan here.
Water Cycle visual here.
FREE Activity Book here.
Plastic Pollution Videos here.