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 – It’s Competition Time!

Our friends at Planet Ark are giving 3 schools the chance to Win a 3D Makerbot Sketch Classroom from Kyocera (RRP $3499 + GST per bundle),

To enter you simply:

  • download and complete one of our National Recycling Week lesson plans,
  • take a photo of your students completed work or the class taking part in one of our activities.
  • jump on to the Schools Recycle Right Challenge website and let the team at Planet Ark  know how your students got involved in 50-100 words

There are also some pretty cool runner up prizes  – For more information and full terms and conditions check out the competition page.

Creativity is king and we encourage you to complete one of our NEW Australasian Recycling Lesson plans, there are BONUS prizes for teachers who use the new ARL plans and give their feedback.

Competition closes at 5pm of Friday November 27Entry form is here

Student Resources

Cool Australia’s Digital Library is full of images, articles and activities to help kids research.

Check out our National Recycling Week Digital Library here

Brand New Lessons: The Australian 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

Recycling Labels Memory Game 
Years 1 – 2

Recycling Labels Mascots
Years 3 – 4

Recycling Labels Board Game
Years 5 – 6

HPE, Science, Technology

Combine recycling learning with games in this new lesson!. Students play a fun, physical game of Hopscotch while learning to associate common household and classroom waste with the appropriate Australasian Recycling Label. 

HPE, Science, Technology

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

 

HPE, Science, Technology, Arts

Through independent research, 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 an informative advertising poster.

 

HPE, Science, Technology, Vis. Arts

Through independent research, students will learn the design of and purpose behind the Australasian Recycling Labels. They will then creatively communicate these understandings and the labels to others in the form of an interactive board game.

Primary Curriculum: 

National Recycling Week
Foundation – Year 2

National Recycling Week
Years 3 – 4

National Recycling Week
Years 5 – 6

NAPLAN for
Primary School 

Science, Geography,
English, History

Science, Geography, English, Design & Technology

Mathematics, Science, Geography, English, Technology, Art & Music

English –
NAPLAN Preparation

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.

Kids 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. 

Turn things from trash to treasure, look at how we breakdown waste, recycling aluminium and how we close the loop on recycling.

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.

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. Kids get to look at consumption and general recycling as well as a group of lessons focused on e-waste. 

 

This unit includes English NAPLAN preparation for all Primary School students and includes lessons on e-waste, paper recycling and consumption.

These lessons are a great way to hone literacy skills in the classroom at any time. 

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Secondary Curriculum 

National Recycling Week
Years 7 – 8

NAPLAN for
Secondary School

National Recycling Week
Years 7 – 8

National Recycling Week
Year 9

English

Look at what happens to your mobile phone, and other e-waste in these lessons. For extended literacy skills, these lessons are great to combine with NAPLAN preparation lessons and bring a topic to life in the classroom. You and your students get to take positive steps in reducing the amount of waste we create. 

 

English – NAPLAN Preparation

Practice persuasive and narrative writing skills extending the recycling theme in your classroom. In these lessons, students get to look at the topic of mobile phone or paper recycling while building on key literacy skills. 

Mathematics

Students use mathematics to solve problems with litter and outdoor bins, calculate and use percentages to compare rates of recycling and environmental benefit, estimate volumes of waste and work with data tables. This unit of work lets you and your students apply mathematics to practical, real-world problems and take positive steps towards developing solutions. 

 

Mathematics

In these lessons, students use Pi to calculate the area and volume of aluminium cans,  or use mean, median, mode and outliner mathematical concepts analyse recycling and contamination data. This unit is a great way for you and your students to take positive steps in reducing the amount of waste we create and build on maths skills using practical examples. 

National Recycling Week
Years 7 – 8

National Recycling Week
Years 9 – 10

National Recycling Week
Years 7 – 10

National Recycling Week
Years 7 – 10

Science

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. Students get to investigate the science of organic waste or look at sorting at a Materials Recovery Facility and so much more. 

Science

These lessons are packed with real-world practical science, students can use an online periodic table to investigate and compare the atomic structure of metals, or test the properties of beverage containers to hold either hot or cold drinks.

Design & Technology

In this unit, you and your students can look at sustainable design, exploring the role of packaging labelling in recycling,  work collaboratively to identify a waste problem in their school or home and develop a solution to this problem or design a sustainable smartphone.  In these lessons, you and your students get to take positive steps in reducing waste through creative design solutions. 

 

Arts

Its time to get creative with waste!  Students can create a garbage gallery or investigate recycling rhythms through performing arts.  Lessons get students to respond to existing work and look to create their own unique work.

This is a great way for you and your students get to bring real-world topics into a creative environment. 

National Recycling Week
Year 7 

National Recycling Week
Years 7 – 10

History

Investigate the history of  Australia’s Indigenous peoples and compare their resource use with what we consume today. These lessons look at how consumption has changed over time and the impact this has on society today, it’s a great way to look at what lessons history can teach us and what positive steps you and your students can take to reduce waste.

HASS

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. Students get to rethink advertising, look at consumption and consider the concept of obsolescence or investigate e-waste and sustainable design. 

Early Learning: 

National Recycling Week  – Early Learning

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.

Lessons use the Early Learning Framework to introduce these topics to younger children through play-based activities. Kids get to learn about packaging, paper recycling, as well as sorting and categorising waste and have great fun in the process. 

 

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What is National Recycling Week?

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

 

Cool Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise the continuing connection to land, water and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

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