Lessons to bring sustainability and recycling in the classroom
National Recycling Week helps you reduce your waste and recycle right.
Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week started in 1996 to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. This highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiative. It also gives people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school. In partnership with Planet Ark, we have developed lessons from early learning through to year 10 to help educators bring these important topics into the classroom.
National Recycling Week is held in the second week of November each year but you can recycle all year-round with these lessons which were designed to be used at any time. Click here to find out more about National Recycling Week and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge.
We have lessons for all year levels that can be used to support learning. Check them out below.
Schools Recycle Right Challenge
This year, National Recycling Week explores the idea that Waste isn’t Waste until it’s Wasted. You’re invited to get involved and join your community on all events on how you use resources by giving them a second life, reducing the need for newly produced resources, and recycling, this year it is all about quality over quantity, it is not about recycling more, but recycling better. Reducing our waste not only keeps valuable materials out of landfill it also benefits the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thinking that waste isn’t waste until it’s wasted also provides some valuable insight into how the recycling and resource management industry works in conjunction to your efforts.
The Schools Recycle Right Challenge runs from 9 October to 17 November 2023 and offers a wide range of recycling themed activities, lesson plans and events ideas that have been developed specifically for Australian schools. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and receive other free support materials.
Schools Recycle Right Challenge New Activities
Reducing Lunchbox Waste – Early Learning
Children look at how to reduce the amount of packaging from their lunchboxes that ends up in landfill by creating a circular economy comic to change their behaviours.
Design Thinking – Upcycling Timber – Years 3 & 4
Students use design thinking to empathise with an audience and define their needs to inform their eventual upcycled timber design. Students then use the needs of the identified user to ideate and prototype a design.
The Australasian Recycling Label – Foundation to Year 6
The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is an evidence-based system for Australia and New Zealand providing consumers with easy and accurate recycling information. Unlike other labels, the ARL shows you how to dispose of each component of your packaging based on the recycling infrastructure and council acceptance in the country.
More than 400 organisations have signed up to the program. Look out for it as it appears on more products every day.
Recycling Labels Hopscotch – Foundation
Students play a fun, physical game of Hopscotch while learning to associate common household and classroom waste with the appropriate Australasian Recycling Label.
Recycling Labels Memory Game – Years 1 & 2
Students design and create a memory game to identify the Australasian Recycling Labels and the purpose behind them, specifically the intention of reducing material waste and helping the environment.
Recycling Labels Mascots – Years 3 & 4
Students will learn the design and purpose behind the Australasian Recycling Labels. They will then creatively communicate these understandings and the Labels to others in the form of a poster.
Recycling Labels Board Game
– Years 5 – 6
Students learn the design of and purpose behind the Australasian Recycling Labels. They will then communicate their findings to others in the form of an interactive board game.
More on the Australasian Recycling Label:
Australasian Recycling Label
– Years 5 & 6
National Recycling Week – Early Learning
National Recycling Week
Foundation – Year 2
Students get to explore how much waste they create in their lunchbox or classroom, consider how we change this and what has happened in the past.
National Recycling Week – Years 3 & 4
The lessons in this unit are a great way for you and your students to take positive steps in reducing the amount of waste we create.
NAPLAN for Primary School – Years 3 & 5
This unit includes English NAPLAN preparation for all Primary School students and includes lessons on e-waste, paper recycling and consumption.
National Recycling Week – Years 5 & 6
This unit of work lets you bring the topic of recycling into most subjects and is a great way for students to take positive action in reducing waste.
National Recycling Week – History – Year 7
– Year 7
National Recycling Week – English – Years 7 & 8
National Recycling Week – Maths – Years 7 & 8
National Recycling Week – Science – Years 7 & 8
National Recycling Week – Design and Technology
– Years 7 – 10
National Recycling Week – Arts – Years 7 – 10
National Recycling Week – HASS – Years 7 – 10
National Recycling Week – Mathematics – Year 9
National Recycling Week – Science – Years 9 & 10
With Thanks to Our Partners
Held in the second week of November each year, Planet Ark National Recycling Week aims to educate and inspire households, schools, workplaces and councils to rethink their rubbish by following the waste hierarchy – reduce, reuse and then recycle. National Recycling Week helps you better understand what happens to your rubbish and recycling beyond the bin, and how to improve your environmental footprint with tips and ideas on applying the waste hierarchy to your daily life.
The Schools Recycle Right Challenge runs for six weeks each year ending on the last Friday of National Recycling Week. The challenge provides a way for schools and early learning centres to get involved with recycling via a range of curriculum-aligned lesson plans, guides and activities for every learning stage, enabling the whole schools, class teachers and students to get involved at a level that suits them
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