Activity Introduction

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

Learning goals:

  • Students learn that there are some hazards in learning about waste
  • Students understand that developing a safety code for waste makes learning about waste safer for everyone. 

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 5 English

  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)

Year 5 Science

  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

Year 6 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)
  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)

Year 6 Science

  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Syllabus OutcomesEN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-8D.

Topic: Solid waste

Time required: 48 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – lead the activity.

Resources required: Paper and pens.

Digital learning opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Waste, recycling, safety, school, classroom.


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 work together as a class to develop a safety code for learning about solid waste.

Student and classroom organisation:

Step 1. Begin the activity by explaining to students that in this unit they will be exploring concepts around solid waste. Ask students to share ideas about what they think solid waste means. Answers could include:

  • Stuff that we no longer want
  • Things we can no longer use.

Ask students to think of some examples of solid waste and write some of these examples on the board. These may include food packaging, food waste, broken household appliances, old tyres, and broken glass.

Step 2. Explain that learning about waste is actually quite interesting, even if it is the stuff that we no longer want or use. What we throw away tells us a lot about who we are, how we live and how we interact with our world. A lot of the things that we throw away are actually still usable and in working order, but we often simply

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Student Worksheet

Quick quiz - what do you know about solid waste?

List 4 types of solid waste:






How can each of these types of waste be disposed of?






What instructions would you find in a waste safety code for each type of waste?





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