Activity Introduction

Quick summary: With the assistance of a teacher, students identify the Australasian Recycling Labels and the purpose behind them – specifically the intention of reducing material waste and helping the environment. Students will then play a fun, physical game of Hopscotch with the intention of practising associating common household and classroom waste with the appropriate Australasian Recycling Label.

This lesson has been developed as part of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. By participating in National Recycling Week you’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change. Take part in the Schools Recycling Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities today!

Learning intentions:

  • Students can identify the three Australasian Recycling Labels on a piece of packaging.
  • Students will understand the difference between these three labels.
  • Students can appropriately match a piece of packaging with a specific action or method of disposal based on these labels

21st century skills: 

Community EngagementCritical ThinkingEthical UnderstandingGlobal CitizenshipProblem SolvingTeam Work 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Foundation HPE

  • Explore actions that help make the classroom a healthy, safe and active place (ACPPS022)

Foundation Science

  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
  • Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)

Foundation Technologies

  • Identify how people design and produce familiar products, services and environments and consider sustainability to meet personal and local community needs (ACTDEK001)

Syllabus outcomes: SLS1.13, STe-4WS, STe-9ME, STe-10ME, ST1-14BE, ST1-15I, ST1-16P

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Foundation Year achievement standards: 

By the end of the Foundation Year, students describe the properties and behaviour of familiar objects.

By the end of Year 2, students describe the purpose of familiar products, services and environments and how they meet a range of present needs.

Topic: Sustainability

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: National Recycling Week – Primary

Time required: 50 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Teacher facilitates instructions and the playing of the game

Resources required:

  • Activity Sheets
  • Area of asphalt or concrete such as a basketball court
  • Boxes, bins or other receptacles (x3)
  • Chalk
  • Coloured pencils
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Pieces of packaging sourced from student lunchboxes/the classroom, or use these graphics, various
  • Recycling label templates

Keywords: Recycling, Australasian Recycling Label, Planet Ark, National Recycling Week, game, play-based learning

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

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... learn to identify the three Australasian Recycling Labels on a piece of packaging
  • ... practice matching that Label to a specific action and/or disposal method
  • ... will discuss the purpose and need for recycling.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... locate the Australasian Recycling Labels on a piece of packaging
  • … tell the difference between the three Australasian Recycling Labels
  • … perform different actions with different types of packaging
  • … recycle pieces of packaging in the correct bin.

Teacher content information: 

The Australasian Recycling Label is a system that provides you with easy to understand recycling information in order to remove confusion, save time, and reduce waste going to landfill.

The Australasian Recycling Labels with text to explain their meaning

Australians and New Zealanders care about the environment and want to do the right thing. When we dispose of our waste correctly, we keep non-recyclable material out of the recycling stream and recy

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