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ESL students create a recycling brochure in this SIOP lesson


Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  


6, 7, 8  

Title – SIOP Earth Day and Recycling Lesson
By – Katie
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Science, Social Studies, Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 6-8

Concept / Topic To Teach:


Standards Addressed:

  • Language Arts Standard 1: Students read and understand a variety of materials.
  • Language Arts Standard 2: Students write and speak for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Content Objective:

    Students will be able to understand the importance of recycling through the creation of a recycling brochure that will outline ways to be environmentally friendly, how to recycle locally, and the outcomes of doing so. A basic understanding of natural resources is needed to complete this lesson.

Language Objective:

    Students will understand new academic vocabulary that will be demonstrated in their brochure. Students will identify vocabulary in their reading and writing assignments.

Key Vocabulary:

Earth Day, recycling,
aluminum, biodegradable,
compost, compostable, conservation,
decay, decompose, disposable,
eco-friendly, ecosystem, environment,
natural resources,
paper vs. plastic, precycling,
refuse, reuse, renewable resources

Required Materials:

  • computer lab and resource center access
  • Microsoft Publisher/Word
  • color printer with eco-friendly ink
  • 8.5″x11″ sheets of recycled paper

Lesson Sequence:

  1. Teacher will build background by asking students to discuss what types of garbage are not biodegradable. Teacher may facilitate discussion and offer clues.
    Is a banana biodegradable?
    How about a plastic bottle?
    Is a paper towel biodegradable?
    A tin can?
    Grass clippings?
  2. To learn new vocabulary, the teacher will introduce the appropriate words by creating a word wall at the front with definitions. Then, each student will create a 4-Corners Vocabulary chart including:
    1. an illustration
    2. sentence
    3. definitions
    4. the vocabulary word
  3. Next, students will get together in pairs and head to the computer lab. Beginner ELLs and those with learning disabilities can be paired up with advanced ELLs or native-speaking students.
    Here students will research what types of product/waste is biodegradable and will find out how long it takes each item to biodegrade, and they will determine the outcome these products have on our land.

    Each group will complete a graphic organizer highlighting their findings and present them to the class.

  4. Students will each create a recycling brochure on Microsoft Word or Publisher demonstrating their writing skills. Brochure will be creative, colorful, and will address the following areas:
    1. What is recycling and why we need to do it
    2. What can/can’t be recycled and how long each product/waste takes to biodegrade
    3. Local recycling programs
    4. What we can personally do to help
    5. Additional pertinent information: The five R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle, revise, and respond) should be included in the brochure as well as any key vocabulary presented at the beginning of the lesson.
  5. Students will submit one brochure per student; however, they can work together in small groups for ideas and help. Once finished, students will present their brochures to the class in a 5-minute presentation. The best brochures will be selected for submission to a community-recycling program for possible distribution.


    Students will be assessed through informal and formal assessments. Teacher can monitor students’ understanding of vocabulary and key concepts through graphic organizers and group discussions. The final assessment will be the students’ brochure that will highlight all the areas surrounding recycling.

E-Mail Katie !

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