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Conservation, Disposal and Recycling

Conservation, Disposal and Recycling

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.

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Essential Understanding

The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following school and home safety procedures and environmentally appropriate practices.

Science Background

Recycling: Environmental Protection Agency (website) – There are many benefits to recycling.  The EPA outlines multiple good reasons to help students make informed choices.

Environmental Protection Agency,

Reduce & Reuse: Environmental Protection Agency (website) – Conservation of resources means reducing the amount of materials we consume and reusing things that we can.  Find more information about the benefits of conserving resources.

Reduce & Reuse
Environmental Protection Agency,

Signature Lesson

In Search of Recyclable Plastic: Wonderville (website) – An awareness of different types of recyclable plastics is the encouraged by having students collect and record items from home made from this material.  This will help them to make informed choices about recycling or reusing plastic materials.

In Search of Recyclable Plastic

Supporting Lessons

Recycling: Discovery Education (website) – Students will understand that biodegradable materials are those capable of disintegrating easily in nature.  They then brainstorm and diagram a useful biodegradable product.

Discovery Education,

Water Conservation: Penn State University (website) – In this lesson, students keep track of the amount of water they consume during the day and make a poster to boost water conservation awareness.

Water Conservation
Penn State University,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Trash Art: Environmental Protection Agency the Quest for Less Guide (PDF) – Students collect trash from home and images from magazines to create murals illustrating how much waste is produced. This lesson can be found on pages 59-61.

Trash Art
Environmental Protection Agency,

Assessment Ideas

Waste Race: Environmental Protection Agency The Quest for Less Guide (PDF) – Set up a relay race for students to demonstrate their understanding of reusable, recyclable, compostable or disposable waste.  This assessment activity is found on pages 201-202.

Waste Race
Environmental Protection Agency,

Literature Connections

Why Should I Recycle? Green, Jen (ISBN-13: 978-0764131554)

Temperature: Heating Up and Cooling Down. Stille, Darlene (ISBN-13: 978-1404803459)

The Lorax. Dr. Seuss (ISBN-13: 978-0394823379)

Related Science TEKS

(3.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including observing a schoolyard habitat.

(3.1B) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.

(3.2A) Plan and Implement Descriptive Investigation
The student is expected to plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world.

(3.2B) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data by observing and measuring using the metric system and recognize differences between observed and measured data.

(3.2C) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct maps, graphic organizers, simple tables, charts, and bar graphs using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate measured data.

(3.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence from investigations.

(3.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments
The student is expected to demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.

(3.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid conclusions supported by data in writing, by drawing pictures, and through verbal discussion.

(3.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, sound recorders, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(3.4B) Safety Equipment
The student is expected to use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

Related Math TEKS

3.13A  The student is expected to collect, organize, record, and display data in pictographs and bar graphs where each picture or cell might represent more than one piece of data.

3.13B  The student is expected to interpret information from pictographs and bar graphs.

Additional Resources

Recycling Lessons and Activities for Students: Kitsap County Washington (PDF) – Activity pages, a reading list, and vocabulary focusing on recycling can be incorporated into your recycling lessons.

Recycling Lessons and Activities for Students
Kitsap County Washington,

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