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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Be a Recycling Superhero

Lesson Description:
  • Explain the need to reduce the amount of trash they generate, and describe ways in which they can make changes in their actions to support waste reduction.
  • Listen to gain knowledge and share information, perform a task, and converse with an adult or peer.

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Standards Addressed:
Technology Standard 3: Understand the relationship among science, technology, society and the individual.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that man-made materials, products and systems can affect the environment adversely, yet there are things that can be done to circumvent this process (e.g., disposing of waste properly, reusing objects, recycling, reducing the amount of trash created, composting, shopping green, buying in bulk).

Science Standard 14: Understands how human actions modify the physical environment
  • Benchmark #1: Knows how people affect the environment in negative (e.g., litter, pollution) and positive (e.g., recycling, picking up litter) ways.

Language Arts Standard 8: Use listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.
  • Benchmark # 1: Make contributions in class and group discussions.
  • Benchmark # 2: Ask and respond to questions.
  • Benchmark # 5: Use grade level appropriate vocabulary in speech (e.g., terms related to waste reduction and recycling).

Language Arts Standard 6: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts.
  • Benchmark #5: Relates stories to his/her own personal experiences (e.g., events, characters, conflicts, themes)

Materials Needed:
  • A copy of “Michael Recycle” book by Ellie Bethel
  • A sign for each category: Paper, Plastics, Metals, Glass
  • Provided worksheet of recycling symbol for teacher to display and students to complete
  • Pictures of hard to recycle items (Examples of hard to recycle items include: appliances, batteries, building materials, cell phones, clothing, fluorescent light bulbs, computers, electronics, furniture, ink toner and cartridges, Styrofoam packing, paint, and tires)
  • Items for children to classify and sort: aluminum can, aluminum foil, brown paper bag, cereal box, junk mail, white paper, pie tin, newspaper, telephone book, plastic milk jug, plastic soda bottle, various plastic containers, drinking glass, glass bottle, glass jars, corrugated cardboard

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf RecyclingSuperhero.pdf
Located in: Science | Language Arts

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Center for Green Schools