Loop Scoops

We live in a world of stuff—some natural, some man-made, some critical to our well-being, some just fun to have. We also live at a time when issues of environmental sustainability are increasingly important. This collection of short, fun animated videos helps elementary students think more deeply and creatively about the stuff in their lives and the impact their choices have on the environment. As they look upon objects and activities in their daily life, they can begin asking: Where does it come from? What is it made of? What happens to it when I throw it away?

  • Garbage

    In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a sphinx gives a boy named Oliver a week's worth of garbage and asks him to make it smaller. Oliver removes glass, cans, paper, and plastic for recycling; food scraps for composting; and clothes and toys for donating. He is then surprised to learn that the garbage was his own, and learns the importance of "less chucking, more recycling."

    Grades: 1-4
  • Juice Boxes

    In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a boy named Brad is quizzed about a "secret weapon" that is virtually indestructible and made of a high-tech composite impervious to heat and light. Brad is surprised to learn that the "weapon" is an ordinary juice box. Brad then learns that one billion juice boxes are thrown out every year, which prompts his decision to use a reusable water bottle instead.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Electronic Gadgets

    In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, Oliver and his sister Gabby visit LOOP headquarters, where they take a quiz about Oliver's computer game. The kids are surprised to learn that the parts in the game device came from 18 different countries and traveled 228,000 miles; that the game device contains titanium, gold, and mercury; and that millions of discarded the game devices have ended up in landfills. After learning this, Oliver decides to keep his current the game device rather than getting a new one.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Velcro

    A sphinx asks two children how a pair of sneakers is like a dog that has been outside in this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS. The kids discuss how dogs, after being outside, sometimes return to the house covered in burrs. Looking at both burrs and Velcro® under a magnifying glass, the children discover that both are covered with tiny hooks. The sphinx explains that the inventor of Velcro® was actually inspired by a walk in the woods with his dog.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Happiness

    In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a sphinx gives three children free rein in a toy store for 60 seconds, telling them to take whatever makes them happy. Brad and Oliver collect shopping carts full of toys, but are only mildly happy and can't recall exactly what toys they chose. Clementine, on the other hand, selects only one small toy but is thrilled with her choice.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Frogs

    A sphinx asks a boy named Ben whether it's good or bad to buy an African clawed frog in a pet store and then release it into a pond, in this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS. Ben initially decides that setting the frog free is a good idea. But after some consideration, he decides that invasive species of frogs may "wreck the place," tipping an ecosystem out of balance.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Orange Juice

    In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a boy named Ben is asked whether fresh squeezed orange juice or bottled juice is better for the environment. After initially choosing bottled juice, Ben learns the story behind it: oranges are grown in Florida and trucked to a plant in Kansas where they are squeezed, pasteurized, and filtered. The juice is bottled at another plant and then finally shipped to stores. The bottles, if not recycled, pile up in landfills. Ben then learns about the simpler life cycle of fresh squeezed orange juice, and recognizes that it generates less waste.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Magazines

    In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a girl named Clementine is asked about the magazines her family receives. She then learns that two-and-a-half million tons of magazines are discarded in America every year—enough to fill seven football stadiums. Some are recycled, but most end up in landfills. Left alone with a pile of discarded magazines, the enterprising Clementine comes up with creative ways to reuse them.

    Grades: 1-5
  • Product Life Cycle

    In this media-rich lesson featuring LOOP SCOOPS videos, students think about where materials in everyday products come from, and learn that knowing about product life cycles can help us make decisions that reduce waste and pollution.

    Grades: 3-4, 13+
  • Biodegradation

    In this media-rich lesson featuring LOOP SCOOPS videos, students learn about the biodegradation timeline for various biotic and abiotic materials in products, and consider the disposal options that would help reduce waste and pollution.

    Grades: 3-4, 13+
  • Needs vs. Wants

    In this media-rich lesson featuring a LOOP SCOOPS video, students are introduced to the concept of “needs” vs. “wants,” and begin to consider the relationship between consumer goods and happiness.

    Grades: 1-2
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    In this media-rich lesson featuring LOOP SCOOPS videos, students consider how the concept of "needs" vs. "wants" can help them think about ways to protect Earth's natural resources by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials.

    Grades: 1-2, 13+