Crapshoot Lesson Plan

Lesson: Crapshoot (Movie) Where Does Our Wastewater Go? 

*NOTE* At (3:40) in the film there is an image of a condom displayed as a common component of our sewage sludge. If this is not appropriate for your class, please fast forward to (3:47)

Time allotment for Lesson: Two to three class periods

Objectives to be covered: Learning about sewage and issues concerning sewage.

Required Resources:

Connections to preceding/following lesson:

  • Discuss in previous lessons where our water comes from, where our water flows to, and where our watersheds are located. 

Learning experiences/activities:

  • Discuss with students where they think our wastewater goes. Ask them where their sewage, tap water, the water from their baths, their showers and their laundry goes. 
  • Introduce the film and ask students to keep note of particular parts in the film which interest them. 
  • After the film is done discuss what areas and parts of the films really stuck out for the students. 
  • Have the students make a poster to raise awareness about the issue of sewage. Split them into groups of 2 or 3 and have them pick three pieces of information that really stood out for them and that they felt other people should be aware of. Ask them to focus on what people can do to help create positive change. Ask them to rank their choices from 1st to 3rd. Have each group talk about their ideas with you when they are ready and ask for the final okay to go ahead with their ideas (try and have each group focus on something a little different).
  • Give students a chance to present their posters and have them accompany this with information regarding why people need to be aware of what they have to say. 

Assessment Strategies/procedures:

  • Students’ presentations will be assessed on the connection they make between the information they are researching, why it is important that people know about it, and what they can do to create positive change.
  • Students’ posters will be assessed on how information is presented in a way which emphasizes and helps raise awareness about the information being presented. It will also be marked on creativity, encouraging students to “think outside the box.” As a teacher, be open to new ideas that may come in forms other than that of a typical poster board. 

Teacher Reflection: 
Areas which are weak:






Areas which are strong:




Other Possible Lessons to accompany Crapshoot:

Grades 7-12 Further Research Project: Root Causes

Part One: Research

  • Research the different substances that show up in sewage sludge and the different effects that they can have on our health.
  • Research whether or not crops grown on land that has been treated with sewage sludge will contain the harmful materials present in sludge.

Part Two: Apply Your Knowledge

In groups, make a life cycle diagram for one of the chemicals or compounds that show up in sewage sludge. Show where it comes from (ie. where it is manufactured or processed), the path it takes and where it ends up.

Part Three: Find Solutions

What are the root causes of this problem? Why are these substances in our food, bodies and wastes and what can we do to prevent them from getting into our sludge? Since this is a big problem, what can we do with our sewage sludge in the short term to prevent harmful substances from being recycled in our food?

Part Four: Take Action

As a group, write a letter to your local M.P. or M.L.A. sharing your concerns, your questions and your solutions.

Grade 7 - 9 Further Research Project

Part One: Research

  • Research what the local laws are for dumping sewage (also commonly called biosolids) on farmland that is used to grow food
  • Research the potential side effects of sewage being dumped on farmland

Part Two: Apply Your Knowledge

In one story in the film, sewage was dumped on land and the surrounding neighbours were not notified. What would you do if there was raw sewage dumped on your neighbour’s land and you were not notified? What if you sent in a sample of your water and were notified that it was is positive for E-coli contamination? 

Part Three: Become Active

Discuss and brainstorm some action plans that can be done as a class to help others become aware of the sewage problem. How could the class take action to make their views known?

Grade 10 - 12 Further Research Project

Part One: Research

  • Research Edmonton’s co- composting (municipal garbage and sewage sludge) plan
  • Research the anti-sludge movement in Canada
  • Make a chart comparing the positives and negatives of Edmonton’s co-composting plan and the anti-sludge stance

Part Two: What is your opinion?

Do you think Edmonton’s co-composting was the best choice? Are you undecided? What is your opinion of the anti-sludge movement? 

Part Three: Question

Brainstorm three major questions that would further your understanding of Canada’s composting plan.

Part Four: Be Active

Write a letter to the Alberta Government regarding the positives and negatives, in your opinion, of the co-composting plan and ask them your questions.