Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

Inspired by the story of the Garbage Barge in 1987 this lesson plan brings recent history to life, with the help of the book “Here Comes The Garbage Barge”.

CAUTION: this lesson may provoke discussion of waste issues!

In 1987 a barge loaded with rubbish made the trip of a lifetime. It travelled all the way from its point of origin on Long Island, New York, USA, down the coast to North Carolina, then southwards and onwards, via Louisiana to Mexico, Belize, Florida. It eventually returned to Long Island after 9 months at sea. A book, named Here Comes the Garbage Barge, written in 2010 by Jonah Winter, conjures up the story. It is illustrated with fascinating pictures, and brought to life in a Youtube video. Follow the story with your class, and find out the differences between fact and fiction in another Youtube video. See both on our Youtube video channel here.

The Garbage Barge lesson PowerPoint

Downloadable lesson plan

Front cover of the book Here Comes the Garbage Barge
Picture of the real garbage barge, a boat of rubbish that travelled the coastline of the eastern USA looking for somewhere to dispose of the rubbish
Close up of the real garbage barge, a boat that travelled the length of the USA to find a disposal site for its rubbish

There are a huge selection of books available that can help teach children about waste, recycling and the environment. Here we list and review some of our favourites.

Book List

Take a look at our other teaching resources too!