Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students investigate the composition of recyclable materials and look at how the composition affects the rate of break down. In two competing groups, student work to order a range of different waste materials in the order that they break down from fastest to slowest. Finally they are asked to create a poster or infographic describing break down rates of waste materials and tips for reducing waste.

NRW Logo 2012-10-00 LgeThis lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.

 

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that waste materials have different rates of decomposition.
  • Students recognise that these rates can vary from several weeks to forever.
  • Students understand that we all have a role to play in reducing waste in our environment.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 4 Science

  • Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; These properties can influence their use (ACSSU074)
  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS071)

Year 4 Geography

  • The use and management of natural resources and waste, and the different views on how to do this sustainably (ACHASSK090)
  • Present ideas, findings and conclusions in texts and modes that incorporate digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms (ACHASSI082)
  • Reflect on learning to propose actions in response to an issue or challenge and consider possible effects of proposed actions (ACHASSI081)

Syllabus OutcomesGE2-2, GE2-3, GE2-4ST2-11LW, ST2-4WS, ST2-13MW

Topic:National Recycling Week

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity, facilitate discussion, print out and distribute worksheets.

Resources required: Printed teacher worksheet (click here to download), Internet access, student worksheet. Optional: infographic tool (e.g. Piktochart) and camera.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, infographic creation (optional).

There’s an app for that: iRecycle – iRecycle provides access to more than 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials.

Keywords: Recycling, aluminium, waste, paper making.

 

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

These Planet Ark resources were developed by Cool Australia with funding from the Alcoa Foundation.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: In this activity students investigate the composition of recyclable materials and look at how the composition affects the rate of break down. In two competing groups, student work to order a range of different waste materials in the order that they break down from fastest to slowest. Finally they are asked to create a poster or infographic describing break down rates of waste materials and tips for reducing waste.

Teacher content information: Waste must be managed to maintain a clean and healthy environment and to avoid polluting the environment. There are many things we can do as consumers of resources to reduce the amount of resources we use. When it comes to waste we often refer to this as the 3Rs plus C (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle - the C stands for Compost). Year 4 students have the ability to do prescribed tasks around their school as well as in their classroom to look after our environment. They become very good at knowing when rules

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Student Worksheet

View the following video and identify as many types of waste as you can. List these below the video.

Sorting Your Recycling - Video 1 http://vimeo.com/73431280

The types of waste I saw in this video are:

 

The correct order for the break down of the waste we looked at and the rates of break down are:

Type of waste in order of break down rate

Rate of break down (how long it takes to break down)

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

6.

 

7.

 

8.

 

9.

 

10.

 

 

Create a waste break down poster or infographic

Working in small groups create a poster or infographic that describes what decomposition or break down rates are, and what the break down rates are for the items used in this activity. It's up to you to decide how you want to present this information, but you must include the following:

  • All the types of waste from this activity as well as banana skins (3-4 weeks
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