Quick summary: In this lesson, students will apply mathematical skills as they explore recycling practices of schools and reflect on their own waste and recycling processes.They will measure the mass of recyclable materials and calculate approximate totals for the schools, developing skills in both measurement and geometry, and number and algebra.
This activity 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.
- Students will be able to sort recyclables and waste materials into categories.
- Students will be able to estimate total consumption of each material within the school.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 4 Mathematics
- Use scaled instruments to measure and compare lengths, masses, capacities and temperatures (ACMMG084).
- Develop efficient mental and written strategies and use appropriate digital technologies for multiplication and for division where there is no remainder (ACMNA076).
Syllabus outcomes: MA2-9MG, MA2-11MG, MA2-12MG, MA2‑1WM, MA2‑2WM, MA2‑3WM, MA2‑6NA.
General capabilities: Numeracy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.
Relevant parts of Year 4 achievement standards: By the end of Year 4, students choose appropriate strategies for calculations involving multiplication and division. Students use scaled instruments to measure temperatures, lengths, shapes and objects.
Topic: Sustainability, Waste.
Unit of work: Bright Sparks – Primary Mathematics.
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – students will require supervision during the waste audit activities and will require support during the calculation activities.
- Student Worksheet (printed, one per student).
- Calculators (one per student).
- Note paper and pens or pencils.
- Class bins.
- Five tubs.
- Tub labels (attach to tubs before starting the lesson).
- Tongs and/or latex-free gloves (at least one pair between two).
- Scales (i.e. bathroom scales that bins/tubs can be placed on).
- Recycling Categories poster (print or display).
- Learning intentions and success criteria display (optional).
Keywords: mass, estimate, calculate, sustainable, recycling, green waste, compost, landfill.
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.