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Revisiting Recycling

Refresh conservation convictions with this student-led persuasive project. Develop skills to change minds and improve the environment!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Hold a class discussion on recycling and its benefits to the environment. Find specific examples of how and why materials, such as paper and aluminum, are recycled. Research the benefits of recycling. Find statistics and examples where recycling has made a difference.
    2. Challenge students to find out what their school does to recycle. Does it recycle paper, cans or plastic from the cafeteria, or printer cartridges, for example? What community recycling programs are operating?
    3. How could recycling efforts be improved in your school or community? Students list all the possibilities for local recycling with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils.
    4. Students use lists and information researched to try to persuade school or community leaders to set up or renew a paper or other recycling program. Draft a convincing letter that explains all the positive aspects of recycling. Offer ideas about how students can help make it work. Describe how recycling is effective in other schools. Proofread your letter carefully. Then write the final copy.
    5. Students support their letters with eye-catching posters. Use Crayola Gel Markers on recycled file folders to show you are serious about conservation!
    6. Students make cards to help get their recycling messages across. Cut recycled file folders with Crayola Scissors. Give cards to leaders and adults to generate broad community interest in Revising Recycling.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

    LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Design and construct a model to describe the interactions of systems within an ecosystem in terms of the flow of energy, cycling of matter, and the conditions for a healthy ecosystem.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    SS: Identify roles as learned behaviors patterns in groups situations such as student, family member, peer play group member, or club member.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green; The Three R's: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle by Nuria Roca; The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches

    Students prepare an improved recycling plan for their school building and schedule an appointment with the administration to present their plan. The presentation can be oral or electronic in nature. Upon exiting the meeting, students post a reflection to a class blog.

    Students take their recycling efforts to the community. Speak with local small business owners, asking for permission to post student recycling posters in their shop windows and stores. Each month, check back with the store owner to see if customers are discussing recycling efforts and/or purchasing more recycled products, etc.

    Working small groups, students compose a letter to their local government about improving recycling efforts. Follow-up by attending a local government meeting to ask about what is being done to improve recycling efforts in the community. Ask, as well, what they as students can be doing daily to improve the effort.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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