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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Elementary

Description

Building on Needs vs Wants,  this multi-step lesson contributes to the theme of responsible consumption by focusing attention on how we all can and should work to protect the earth’s natural resources. Through a number of engaging activities supported by excellent short video presentations young learners are introduced to what is meant by a ‘natural resource’ and why some are of them are limited while others are not.  The videos and discussion suggestions allow students to consider how their own behaviors impact resource availability and why conserving our natural resources is important.  As a culminating activity, students consider in addition to consuming less, specific actions they might take on behalf of the planet through recycling and reusing.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Active listening
  • Expressing thoughts and opinions

Strengths

The resource has incorporated a number of excellent videos supported by engaging 'after watching' discussion.  Students will have fun while learning about an important issue.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The resource will be of particular interested to K-4 teachers addressing science, social studies and citizenship outcomes. It will be especially helpful to any discussion of waste management and will serve as a great companion to a school recycling program.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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      • Social Studies
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
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      • Science
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
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        • Local Communities:: We shape the local environment, and the local environment shapes who we are and how we live.
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        • My Environment
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        • You and Your World: Our Environment
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        • You and Your World: Our Environment
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        • You and Your World: Change and the Physical Environment
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        • You and Your World: Changes and the Physical Environment
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        • Connecting and Belonging: My Environment
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        • Science 1: Living Things and the Environment
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        • Social Studies 1: Age Appropriate Action
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        • Social Studies 4: Humans and the Physical Environment
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        • Connecting and Belonging: Economics & Resources
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        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
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        • Heritage and Identity: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
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        • Interactions: Needs and Wants
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        • My Family: Resources and Wealth
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        • Saskatchewan: Resources and Wealth
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        • Local Communities:: We shape the local environment, and the local environment shapes who we are and how we live.

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Waste Management (2)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    • Source Reduction

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Students are encouraged to consider information from different sources and form their own conclusions.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

Attention to multiple dimensions is provided through age-appropriate activities.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The video shorts and accompanying discussion effectively address the issue of resource consumption and waste in an age-appropriate context.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

While students are asked to reflect on personal changes they can make to address source reduction and resource conservation, explicit directions or support for student action projects are not included

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

The young learners are encouraged to think about what they are seeing and hearing about waste reduction and to express their feelings.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This criterion is not addressed.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory

Attention to the impact of waste and resource consumption is clearly implied but not explicitly stated.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

The videos and discussion & reflection activities do an excellent job connecting the issue to the lives of the students

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered

This criterion is not addressed.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Questioning is used to engage students in reflecting on what they have learned.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good

As is appropriate for this age group, the lines between social studies, science and citizenship subject areas have been removed.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

The lesson provides young learners with an appropriate amount of guidance and the reflections components of each activity allow students to develop their own ideas.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The combination of video, discussion and sharing will appeal to a variety of learning styles.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Much of the learning takes place in a cooperative learning setting.  However, cooperative learning skills are not specifically taught.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

Specific assessment tools are limited to 'check for understanding' questions at the conclusion of the lesson. Formative opportunities are provided with each activity.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

The activities are structured to encourage the young learners to express and share what they are learning with their peers.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered

The videos offer animated depictions of real situations but actual case studies are not included.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Poor/Not considered
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.