Step 2: Teach Lesson
Teacher takes a pre-filled garbage bag and scatters the clean trash around the room, making loud noises and generally being
obnoxious. Then, ask the student "What am I doing?" Let the student share ideas and then ask, "What should we do now? Put
the items back in the trash, or is there anything else that we could use these items for?" This is the pre-assessment portion of
the lesson - find out if the student can think of any other ways to use items other than throwing them away.
Ask the student to pick up two items and put them on their desk, adding these items to what they have brought to the lesson, and
then give the student some think time to determine what they think the best use of the items is.
Read some of the articles about what real people do with recyclable products, and then discuss and decide, what could be done with
the products on the student’s desk.
Next, discuss the fact that recycling paper and aluminum cans is fairly simple and necessary. However, nearly everything
could be recycled or reused. In addition, the most important thing is to reduce the amount of materials we use in the first
place. Tell the student their assignment is to think of ways to reduce the amount of material used, and to imagine real reuses for the
items on their desk.
Ask what will happen if people DON'T recycle or reuse? How will the earth be affected if we choose to NOT reduce, reuse,
and recycle? There will be absolute consequences. Make a list of possible outcomes for inaction.
Finally, now that the student is thinking about reducing, reusing, and recycling, ask them what would happen if every person in
this community decided to act more responsibly towards using natural resources? What are some things that our
community could do to use natural resources (other than paper and cans) better? Brainstorm several ideas and discuss pros
and cons using a T chart. Then, choose the one idea that is most feasible and easiest to implement and ask the student how they
want to advertise this idea to the community.
Let the student create posters etc. about their plan and post them throughout the community. Determine an appropriate period for the
duration of the project. The teacher has the responsibility to manage the project and take care of getting the required permissions.