What is Recycling?

  • Second Grade
  • Science
  • 65 minutes
  • 5.0 based on 1 rating
September 25, 2015
by Ginger Bruster

What is recycling all about? What can and can't be recycled? What can I do to help others understand the importance of recycling? This activity helps students answer all of these questions as they learn about saving planet Earth.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to determine solutions for encouraging recycling in their community.

Download Lesson Plan


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Ask students what they know about recycling.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Talk about different ways people can recycle.
  • Ask students what they recycle at home and at school.
  • Explain that objects can go into three categories when you need to get rid of them: trash, compost, objects that can be broken down and used in the soil, and recycling, which is generally glass, plastic, and paper that can be broken down and made into new items.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (20 minutes)

  • Pass out the What is Recyclable? worksheet.
  • Read through the worksheet together as a class.
  • Allow students to color the worksheet.
  • Have student cut out the "stickers" on the worksheet and glue them on the correct objects.
  • Have a class discussion on ways to help people become aware of recycling and how to recycle appropriately. These ideas may include educating people, putting up posters, coming up with incentives, and making recycling more convenient.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Pass out the Recycle Match-Up worksheet and allow students to complete it.
  • Have students partner up and make an awareness poster about recycling.
  • When students are done with their posters, encourage them to hang them up around the school or in their community.



  • Enrichment: Students may make more than one poster using a different idea for each poster created.
  • Support: Students may need guidance in what direction to create their poster. Give these students two options to choose from to use on their poster, such as recycling helps save the earth, or recycling paper in the classroom.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Students will be assessed by the completion of their worksheets and the effort put into the posters they've created.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Have students share their posters with the rest of the class.

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