Schools and Education > Recycling: Key stage 2
The following lesson plan will introduce the topic of recycling to primary (Key Stage 2) level pupils. It supports a number of topics within the NI Curriculum and the Primary School Curriculum in the Republic of Ireland, including aspects of The World Around Us Area of Learning (NI Curriculum) and the Environmental Awareness and Care Strand (R.O.I. Primary Curriculum).
Download the lesson plan as a PDF here
Download the recycling information sheet here
Download the recycling activity sheet here
Introduce the lesson by bringing in a bin full of (clean) rubbish, including some recyclable items, and emptying it out in the middle of the classroom. Then ask the class if they would like to work in a classroom full of rubbish. Ask where they think the rubbish should go (into the bin). Then find out if the pupils know what happens to rubbish after it is put into the bin. Where does it go? What happens to it? Explain that when the rubbish is collected it is taken to a landfill site where it is buried underground. These landfill sites are getting so full up with all our rubbish that soon there will be nowhere left to put it. Ask the pupils what they think a landfill site would be like (smelly!). Tell them that this is because the rubbish is starting to break down and release gases which can be harmful for our environment.
Now ask the class if they know how we could throw less rubbish away. Using items from the pile of rubbish as examples, explain how we can reduce the amount of rubbish by using less packaging, reuse things like yogurt pots instead of throwing them away and recycle many materials like paper, glass and aluminium. Ask pupils to work in groups to sort out the rubbish into three piles – material that can be reduced, reused or recycled.
Take a class poll of how many pupils recycle their rubbish at home. Ask if any of them use a recycling bin or a kerbside recycling box. Read through the recycling information sheet with the class. Then explain that they are going to find out what happens to the material in a household recycling bin once it is collected. Show the video on Bryson Recycling by clicking on the image on the right hand side of the page. After watching the video, ask the pupils to complete the recycling activity sheet.
Recap on the lesson and tell the children that the next time they put something into the recycling bin to think about where it is going. Encourage the pupils to recycle at home and to tell their parents about the importance of recycling.
Ask the pupils to test their knowledge of recycling by taking the quiz in the right hand column.