Activity Introduction

paper coils hero frameQuick summary: In this lesson, students will learn about the paper recycling loop and the impact that choosing recycled products can have. Students will complete a creative writing task based on factual stimulus material. They are asked to write a short story inspired by the Planet Ark closing the local recycle loop video. This lesson can be used as valuable practise for NAPLAN*.

planet ark make it recyled logo Activity developed in partnership with Planet Ark.

This lesson has been developed as part of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week and also supports the Make it Australian Recycled program, which aims to raise awareness around the benefits of using recycled products, including paper. 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 why and how to close the paper recycling loop.
  • Students practise a style of narrative writing featured in the National Assessment Program’s writing test administered in years 3, 5, 7 & 9. 
  • Students will better understand the structure of the narrative text type.
  • Students will be able to plan, draft and write a narrative text in response to a set prompt.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Compare the ways that language and images are used to create character, and to influence emotions and opinions in different types of texts (ACELT1621) 
  • Create literary texts that adapt stylistic features encountered in other texts, for example, narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, contrast and juxtaposition (ACELT1625)  
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)  
  • Edit for meaning by removing repetition, refining ideas, reordering sentences and adding or substituting words for impact (ACELY1726)  
  • Consolidate a personal handwriting style that is legible, fluent and automatic and supports writing for extended periods (ACELY1727)  

Year 8 English

  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632) 
  • Experiment with particular language features drawn from different types of texts, including combinations of language and visual choices to create new texts (ACELT1768)  
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)  
  • Experiment with text structures and language features to refine and clarify ideas to improve the effectiveness of students’ own texts (ACELY1810) 

Year 7 Achievement Standards: Students demonstrate understanding of how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary affect meaning. Students create structured and coherent texts for a range of purposes and audiences. When creating and editing texts they demonstrate understanding of grammar, use a variety of more specialised vocabulary and accurate spelling and punctuation.

Year 8 Achievement Standards: Students understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. When creating and editing texts to create specific effects, they take into account intended purposes and the needs and interests of audiences. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary for effect and use accurate spelling and punctuation.

Syllabus Outcomes: EN4-1A, EN4-6C, EN4-2A, EN4-4B 

Topic: National Recycling Week.

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities, facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Internet access, Student Worksheet (one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet), Ripple Effects diagram print out (one per student), pen and paper for story writing, projector and speakers. Closing the Recycled Paper Loop – Factsheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework and extension.

Keywords: recycling, paper, manufacturing, recycling loop, Planet Ark.

*This lesson plan is not an officially endorsed publication of NAPLAN’s creators and administrators – the ACARA body – but is designed to provide practise for the Australian Curriculum’s compulsory NAPLAN testing scheme.

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


Teacher Worksheet

plastic removal hero frame

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: This lesson is designed to provide valuable practise for NAPLAN*, the national literacy test held in Year 3, 5, 7 & 9. It features a creative writing task that requires students to use their imagination to plan, draft and write a narrative piece inspired by non-fiction texts that highlight the details around ‘closing the paper recycling loop’.

Teacher content information: This lesson has been developed as part of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week and also supports the Make it Australian Recycled program, which aims to raise awareness around the benefits of using recycled products, including paper. By recycling paper, we are all helping reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

As the saying goes, unless you're using recycled, you're not really recycling - and you’re only doing half the job. About 68% of office paper is recycled, however less than 18% of new reams contain any recycled paper. Some people think that recycled paper

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Closing the recycling loop prevents waste going to landfill.

1. Watch the following video and then view the diagram that details how to close the paper recycling loop.

GOING BUSH SPECIAL EDITION The Recycled Paper Journey: Closing the Loop (

2. Think about the immediate, middle and long-term effects of closing the paper recycling loop. Use the Ripple Effect diagram to illustrate your understanding:

Ripple effect recycling loop

3. Writing task:

Paper can be recycled about six times. The individual fibres of new paper paper are long and thin. After each recycling process they become a little shorter and fatter, making them less strong. The cycle starts off at high quality, bright white office paper. Then it can be made back into that once or twice. It is then given new life as magazine paper for one or two rounds, then it graduates to become good quality cardboard, like a cereal box. After that it becomes a low quality cardboard box, like the one your pos

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.