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In this lesson, students use Kidspiration and learn the difference between the terms reuse and recycle


Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  


1, 2, 3  

Title – Recyling
By – Amanda Murphy
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Computers / Internet, Language Arts, Social Studies
Grade Level – 1-3

Unit: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle


    The students will understand the concept of recycling and reusing trash, so that when student orally summarizes the information given in the text, they can explain their topic with a clear definition.


  • Standard 1: All students will read and comprehend general and technical material.
  • Standard 3: All students will focus on meaning and communication as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic contexts.
  • Standard 6: All students will learn to communicate information accurately and effectively and demonstrate their expressive abilities by creating oral, written, and visual texts that enlighten and engage an audience.
  • Standard 10: All students will apply knowledge, ideas, and issues drawn from texts to their lives and the lives of others.


  • Recycle is to turn old, used objects into different, new things. Garbage must be sorted before it can be recycled.
  • Reuse is to use things more than once, in the same way, or in a completely new way.


  • Books: Why Should I Recycle?
        by Jen Green

    Fred’s TV

        by Clive Dobson

    Good As New

        by Barbara Douglass

    Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

      by Simms Taback
  • Samples of recyclable products
  • Kidspiration software


  • Teacher will read aloud to students Why Should I Recycle? and discuss the pictures in the story as the book is read.
  • Have the children discussed recycling in their own households.
  • Ask students if they have ever seen the three-arrow recycling symbol on anything.  Show them an object with it.  Make sure they understand that the three arrows stand for:
    1. collecting items that can be recycled
    2. processing recycled items
    3. purchasing recycled items
  • Ask: “What else do you know of that can be recycled?  What old (used) items can we turn into something new?”    Hold up samples of these items (cardboard, plastic, aluminum, tin, etc.). 
  • Teacher will break the class up into three groups for guided reading based on reading level.  Students will read either Fred’s TV , Good as New , or Joseph had a Little Overcoat in their guided reading groups.
  • The students will discuss their books after completing the story and determine as a group a definition for the word “reuse” based on their stories.
  • Each group will use Kidspiration software to create a graphic organizer to describe their definition of “reuse” and the difference between “recycling” and “reusing.”
  • Gather the entire class together in a group and have each group tell the class a brief summary of the story they read. Then have the children give their definition of “reuse”.
  • After all three groups are done, discuss as a class the three definitions based on their stories and determine the difference between “recycling” and “reusing” based on the books read aloud or in their groups.


    The oral summarization on the story contents read and the groups graphic organizer with the definition of the topics “recycle” and “reuse” will determine if the students understood the topics discussed.


    Groups will be broken up based on reading levels were I can float around and help those in need. If someone has a strong background on the topic, they will be able to explain their definition to their group and help them understand.

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