National Recycling Week -  Aluminium Cycle

National Recycling Week - Aluminium Cycle

Lesson 3 of 4 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 3 - 4
  • English
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this activity students look at how different types of waste are recycled. Students begin the activity by exploring the properties of a range of waste items and then go on to investigate how aluminium cans are recycled by looking at how the processes and stages involved with can recycling.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand that waste items contain a variety of materials
  • Students learn that waste materials need to be sorted so the materials can be recycled (or composted) and only the real rubbish will go to landfill
  • Students recognise the stages and processes involved with aluminium can recycling
  • Students discover that the application of heats melts some materials.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 3 Science:

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)
  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS060)

Year 3 English:

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features and selecting print,and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1682)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-11LW, ST2-4WS, ST2-12MWEN2-2A

Resources required

  • Clean waste materials for students to handle, such as plastic bottles and tubs, aluminium cans, and glass bottles or jars (it will be useful for this activity to ensure that there is at least one item made from aluminium, however, make sure there are no sharp edges on cans or tins)
  • Access to student worksheet

There’s an app for that: iRecycle – iRecycle provides access to more than 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension or homework.


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration

Additional info

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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