RIPR in the Classroom: Wildlife at a Landfill

Aug 14, 2017

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Story Synopsis

Credit Ambar Espinoza

In Johnston, Rhode Island, a 270-acre landfill sits inside over a thousand acres of untouched property. Central Landfill provides a home to many types of wildlife and plants, and was even awarded a conservation certificate from the Wildlife Habitat Council in 2011 for its commitment to improving wildlife habitats. It is responsible for projects such as building nesting boxes for birds and removing invasive plant species. Other animals seen on the property include beavers, deer, and even bald eagles. Listen to hear more about the wildlife at this landfill.

Use with grades 6-9

Common Core State Standards CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.3: Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Listening Comprehension Questions Assign these questions to your students or answer them together in a group.

  1. Why is a landfill an “unlikely place” to see a variety of plants and animals?
  2. What indicates that the pond near the landfill has good quality water?
  3. How did the Central Landfill earn its wildlife certification? Why might they have wanted to do this?
  4. How many different types of species have been spotted on this site?

Discussion Themes Use these questions to get students thinking at the beginning of class. They can use evidence from the story to support their ideas during a class discussion.

  1. What are other examples of places where two things that aren’t usually found together have the opportunity to mix?
  2. What might be some arguments for and against doing conservation work near landfills?