Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore how recyclable materials are separated according to the material they are made of, using their physical properties. They will read about physical properties, then apply their understanding when watching a series of short clips that show materials being separated. Students will then work in small groups to design their own way to separate one specific recyclable material from other objects by exploiting its physical properties. 

 

This lesson has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 60 years Visy has been striving for sustainability, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by collecting recyclable materials and recycling them into new paper and packaging products. Click here to find out more about Visy and their innovative work in recovering and transforming recyclable materials into new products to preserve our earth’s precious resources.

 

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to classify material into recyclable and non-recyclable categories.
  • Students understand how to categorise materials according to their physical properties.
  • Students will be able to design a way to separate materials with certain physical properties from other materials.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

  • Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces, including Earth’s gravitational attraction, acting on the object (ACSSU117).
  • Scientific knowledge has changed people’s understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE119).
  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120).
  • People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE121).
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133).

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-10PW, SC4-15LW, SC4-11PW, SC4-13ES, SC4-9WS.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: They represent and predict the effects of unbalanced forces, including Earth’s gravity, on motion. Students draw on evidence to support their conclusions. They summarise data from different sources, describe trends and refer to the quality of their data when suggesting improvements to their methods. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.

Topic: Waste, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Bright Sparks – Secondary Science.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will facilitate scientific design process.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheets (one copy per student).
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class.
  • 16 items of waste found around the school (wash before using).
  • 2 bins or buckets labelled ‘Recycle’ and ‘Landfill’.

Keywords: Recycling, materials, design, problem-solving, physical properties.

The information and statistics included in this document are approximate and have been simplified for educational/illustrative purposes. They should not be relied upon for any other purpose.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to classify material into recyclable and non-recyclable categories.
  • Students understand how to categorise materials according to their physical properties.
  • Students will be able to design a way to separate materials with certain physical properties from other materials.

Success criteria: 

  • Students can classify material into recyclable and non-recyclable categories.
  • Students can identify one physical property of certain material that can be used to separate it from mixed waste.
  • Students can apply their knowledge about materials to design a way to separate out a recyclable material.

Teacher content information: Almost everything we do in our daily lives creates waste. We can describe waste as something we no longer want or need. The food and drinks we consume, the clothes and cosmetics we wear, the transport we take, the stuff we buy, the energy we use in our homes and workplaces – all these things ha

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Physical properties include: appearance, texture, colour, odour, melting point, boiling point, density, solubility, polarity, and many others.

1. Watch this clip (https://www.visy.com.au/recycling/education/). Your teacher will screen it for you in class.

Then respond to the prompts below:

One thing presented in the clip that was surprising or interesting:
One thing I didn’t understand:
Any vocabulary that I want to know:
One thing that reminded me of something that I already know:

Physical Properties

A physical property is a measurable characteristic that can be observed with one of your five senses. Different materials have their own unique set of properties that don’t change.

Read through the table below, then fill in the last column.

Physical  property: Description: Material that has the  physical property:
Magnetism Can pull certain types of metal towards it.
Density How compact an object is – the m
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