Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students develop a safety code for learning about solid waste.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that there are some hazards in learning about waste.
  • Students recognise that they can be safe if they follow some simple rules.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 1 English

  • Engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening behaviours, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions (ACELY1656)
  • Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661)
  • Construct texts that incorporate supporting images using software including word processing programs (ACELY1664)

Year 2 English

  • Listen for specific purposes and information, including instructions, and extend students’ own and others’ ideas in discussions (ACELY1666)
  • Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)
  • Construct texts featuring print, visual and audio elements using software, including word processing programs (ACELY1674)

Syllabus OutcomesEN1-1A, EN1-2A, EN1-3A.

Topic: Solid waste

Time required: 48 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – lead activity.

Resources required: Paper and pens.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Safety: No special requirements.

Keywords: Safety, school, waste, classroom, code.


Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students develop a safety code for learning about solid waste.

Hot tips: Use this activity to create a class safety code if you're planning on working with solid waste in other activities.

Student and classroom organisation:

Step 1. Explain to the students that in this unit they will be working with solid waste. Ask them to explain what this means (stuff that we no longer want).  Ask them to give you some examples of waste. Write some of these examples on the board.

Step 2. Explain that learning about waste is very interesting. We can learn about different types of waste. We can learn about where each type of waste goes so that it doesn’t harm people and doesn’t harm the environment. We can learn about how to reduce waste so that all the people in the world will have enough of all the things they need now and in the future. 

Step 3. Ask the students to look at all the examples of waste that you wrote on the board. Which ones would

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Student Worksheet

Sample class safety code

 When doing any waste activity inside

  • I will only touch items of waste when my teacher says that is safe to do so.

  • I will wear gloves when carrying a bucket of food scraps to the compost bin or the worm farm.

  • After any waste activity, I will always wash my hands.


When doing any waste activity outside

  • I will always be in a group of two or more students.

  • I will not go into carparks or on roads.

  • I will only look in rubbish or recycling bins. I will not touch any of the items in rubbish or recycling bins with my hands.

  • After any waste activity, I will always wash my hands.


When picking up litter in the yard

  • I will always use plastic gloves and tongs. I will not touch any litter on the ground with my hands.

  • After we have emptied a bucket of litter into the bin, I will wash our bucket and tongs.

  • Afterwards, I will always wash my hands.

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