Activity Introduction

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.

 

 

Learning intentions:

  • 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

Content descriptions: 

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.

Resources required:

  • 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.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning Intentions:

  • 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.

Success Criteria:

  • Students can recall which items can be recycled through their local council (aluminium and tin, paper and cardboard, firm plastics and glass).
  • Students are aware that food scraps can be composted.
  • Students can explain why green waste should be separated from landfill.
  • Students can find the mass of recyclables, green waste, compost and landfill in the classroom.
  • Students can use the data from their class waste to predict totals for the school.

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 workp

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Student Worksheet

Class Waste Audit

Write down the weight of the bin/tub holding the waste: 

Record the results of the class waste audit in the table below:

CATEGORY MASS
Green Waste
Paper and Cardboard
Other Recyclables
Compost
Landfill
TOTAL:

Group Waste Audit

In your group discuss the best way to estimate the following, and record your suggested figures in the space provided. 

Estimate how much compostable material the school would produce in a week: Estimate how much green waste the school would produce in a week:
Estimate how much paper and cardboard the school would produce in a week: Estimate how much of other mixed recyclables the school would produce in a week:
Estimate how much landfill the school would produce in a week:

Reflection

Talk with your group about the following questions and note down the ideas you discuss in the space provided:

What does the school do with each of thes

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