Wash and Squash: How to Recycle

Duration: 45 minutes

Adaptable Lesson Design according to Age Group:

Students learn how to recycle by first learning what to recycle, how to handle items so they can be recycled, and why it is important that recycling is not contaminated.

This then leads on to a recycling Relay game, played in groups. The aim is to sort the recycling competing against the other group for speed. Then the educator and pupils check the recycling to ensure that items have been sorted correctly. Finally each pupil retrieves their items and returns them to the recycling bag.


1) Students will assess items, and group them according to whether they are:

  •  Plastics Numbers 1-7

  •  Tin Cans

  • Aluminium Cans

  • Glass

  • Cardboard & Paper

  • Plastic Bags

2) Students will learn what makes containers recycling-ready.
3) Students will learn why contamination of recycling is a problem.

Sensible Shopping

Duration: 30 minutes/extension possible

Adaptable Lesson Design:

Students learn to make clever choices about what to buy to avoid waste going to landfill.


1) Students will identify waste creating products and be able to identify substitute products, which are fully recyclable.

2) Students will look at various items which can be bought in waste-making and non waste-making form, including:

  • Tissues

  • Toys

  • Rolled Oats


  • Plastic Food Wrap

  • Water bottles

  • Other items

Students will brainstorm other substitutions and learn how to make sensible shopping choices. Students will work in groups and give feedback to the class.

Extension activity: Making a shopping bag.

Materials required: Sewing machines brought from home, old T shirts or fabric, whanau or teacher helpers. Thread. Extra time.


Duration: 30 - 45 minutes/extension possible

Adaptable Lesson Design

Can be extended by including practical participatory activities in the school garden such as weeding, making compost, spreading out the school’s compost, or sowing seeds and planting seedlings

Students will learn what can and cannot be composted, and will see a worm farm at work.


Students will become good at making compost by learning what goes in it, how it works, and why it is good for the environment to compost.

Materials Needed

  • Laminated compost bin cards, and flashcards

  • Worm Farm (portable) & gloves for handling soil.


    • Biology

• Environmental protection Sustainability


  1. 1)  Students will get a brief lesson on the way the compost works with air, sun, worms, water, and matter.

  2. 2)  Students will observe a portable compost system in a bucket. The worms will be observed and the contents of the composting system.

  3. 3)  Students will place pictures of items on a compost heap, sorting out whether they belong in the compost or not.

How Long does Rubbish Last?

Duration: 30- 45 minutes Adaptable Lesson Design:

Students learn how long rubbish lasts in landfills in this cooperative activity.


• Students will work together in groups to formulate their best estimate of how long items last in a landfill.

• Students will learn about environmental consequences of not recycling. Keywords Rubbish, recycle, biodegrade, and landfill

Materials Needed

• Aluminium cans • banana • cotton rag • glass bottle • leather shoe • paper bag • rubber sole of the leather shoe (above) • Styrofoam cup • tin can (soup or vegetable can) • nappy • woolen sock

  • Language Arts

  • Visual Arts

  • Educational Technology

  • Physical & Environmental Science


1)  Students will make a timeline using cards placed on the floor from 4 months to 10,000 years.

2)  Students will work in groups with pictures of rubbish items to guess how long items take to breakdown & feedback to the class.

3)  Students will sort and classify items along the timeline.

Life Cycle of an Aluminium Can

The Life Cycle of an Aluminium Can

  • This lesson explains why it is so important to recycle aluminium.

  • It uses pictures and actions to make this point.

  • The students have to guess where in the production process we must return to

    recycle aluminium. The lessons shows how many resources are saved by recycling.

Evaluation & Reporting

  • The class teachers in the participating schools will fill in an evaluation form detailing class numbers and making suggestions or compliments to improve the programme.

  • Optional lesson extension: A multiple-choice question quiz for each lesson theme, made interesting with pictures, will be provided to the students to consolidate their learning and also to check whether they have learnt the lesson objectives.

  • All the participants in the programme are responsible for Health & Safety, including the school staff, and the educator. The educator will abide by the Love Kaipara Health & Safety Manual.

  • The educator will provide a brief report to the school.

027 352 0566

407 Avoca Rd
Tangowahine, 0372
New Zealand

©2019 by Love Kaipara.