Grade: 3-5
Subject: Science

#4349. The 3 R's: Recycling, Reducing and Reusing

Science, level: 3-5
Posted Wed Apr 1 09:07:45 PDT 2009 by Audrey Neitling (Audrey Neitling).
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Materials Required: computer, worksheet (made on Kidspiration), Giant Earth Cutout, PPT or info text on recycling, KWL
Activity Time: 55 minutes
Concepts Taught: Recycling, Reducing, Reusing/Human effect on animals

Student Teacher's Name: Audrey Neitling Date: March 31, 2009
Grade Level: 3 Topic/Unit: Recycling School: WSU

The 3 R's: Recycling, Reducing and Reusing


The teacher will engage students in a discussion about the influences that people have on our Earth. The teacher should direct the discussion toward recycling, after which the PPT on the 3 R's should be viewed. Following the PPT presentation, students will think of different ways that they can use the 3 R's.


S.ES.03.44--Students will recognize that paper, metal, glass, and some plastics can be recycled.
S.IA.03.12--Share ideas about science through purposeful conversation in collaborative groups.
S.RS.03.18--Describe the effect humans and other organisms have on the balance of the natural world.

Learning Resources/Materials:

• Computer
• PPT Presentation (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse) In lieu of PPT, opt for a story or info-text re: recycling
• KWL chart/whiteboard or poster board
• Teacher-made 'giant' Earth cutout (to be positioned in hallway so that student worksheets can be displayed)
• Worksheet (created on Kidspiration) *pictured at end of lesson
• Pencils/markers/crayons

Development of Lesson

A nice way to discover what students know about recycling would be to have several empty pop cans throughout the room. Tell students that there is money scattered throughout the room, and anyone who finds it can keep it( In Michigan, each pop can is worth 10 cents). If students are on their game, a few will collect cans--if not, let the students know that the task was to recognize that the cans can be recycled and redeemed for money.


• The teacher will engage the class in an open discussion about the pop can introduction (money hunt).
• The teacher will use a KWL chart to determine what students know and would like to learn about recycling, reusing and reducing.
• Students will view the PPT presentation on the 3 R's (teacher should invite questions throughout presentation, pausing when needed).
• The teacher will refer to the KWL chart, asking students to contribute what they have learned about the 3 R's.
• Students will get into small groups (4-5).
• Pass out Kidspiration worksheets, and explain and model what students should do.
o For each of the 3 R's, either draw a picture or explain in a few words how you can use them to help protect the Earth.
o Students can refer to the KWL chart for ideas.
• Once the class has finished, allow students to come in front of the class to talk about their ideas.
• Allow each group (one at a time) to go into the hallway and display their 3 R's on the giant Earth cutout.
• Once again, engage students in a conversation about the 3 R's, and ask for ideas about how they could be used in the school, at home, etc.


Students with learning disabilities or cognitive/physical impairments will be allowed to work with a partner. In addition, they can come up with one idea for each of the 3 R's, instead of two.
Higher-achieving students or students that finish early can write a few sentences in their journal describing a cause/effect relationship with one of their 3 R ideas (i.e., how will their idea help to save the habitat of an animal).

Students will be assessed both informally as well as formally.
Informal assessment will be determined by student's involvement with class discussions.
Formal assessment will be evaluated by student's completed worksheet. If student was able to present 2 ideas for each of the 3 R's (either through illustration or words), then they will have demonstrated understanding.

Close the lesson discussing different ways that people they know practice the 3 R's. Tell students that they will use their new knowledge about the 3 R's to explore some of the animals that are endangered and/or extinct. In addition, ask students to think about a favorite animal that is not yet endangered, but how what people do or do not do might have an effect on that animal.
Teacher Reflection: N/A