National Recycling Week - Waste And Packaging

National Recycling Week - Waste And Packaging

Activity 2 of 4 in this unit

  • Early Learning
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Environmental
  • Recycling
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this activity children are introduced to the ideas of packaging, waste and recycling. Younger children are asked to investigate different types of food packaging, looking at how it feels and what it is used for and which bin it should go in. Older children are asked to look more deeply at types of packaging and group these waste items according to a range of different options, including size, colour and material. Children aged 3 to 5 years old are asked to pull apart a juice box and look at all the different types of material that are used to make a juice box. Children of all ages are asked to think about how waste materials can be reused before they go into the bin.

Activity Intention:

  • This activity is designed to help connect children to the wonders of the natural world through sensory and play-based learning.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

EYLF Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcome 2:

  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • 2.3 Children become aware of fairness

Learning Outcome 4:

  • Children are confident and involved learners
  • 4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  • 4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem-solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating
  • 4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

Resources required

  • A range of waste materials such as a soft drink can or bottle
  • an empty tin of beans
  • A small section of plastic sandwich wrap
  • Chip bag
  • Fruit juice box
  • Paper bag
  • Cardboard box
  • Empty plastic food containers (e.g. ice-cream or margarine or yoghurt)
  • Newspaper
  • Ensure that all items are clean and that sharp edges are covered in masking tape
  • Reusing waste activities.

Supporting resources:

Additional info

Cool Australia Presents Waste from Cool Australia on Vimeo.
Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week started in 1996 to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. This highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiative. It also gives people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school. In partnership with Planet Ark, we have developed lessons from early learning through to year 10 to help educators bring these important topics into the classroom.

National Recycling Week is held in the second week of November each year but you can recycle all year-round with these lessons which were designed to be used at any time. Click here to find out more about National Recycling Week and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge. 

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