National Recycling Week - Upcycling Timber

National Recycling Week - Upcycling Timber

Lesson 5 of 5 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 3 - 4
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Environmental
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • Economic
  • Design Thinking
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students use design thinking to empathise with an audience and define their needs to inform their eventual upcycled timber design. Students then use the needs of the identified user to ideate and prototype a design.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • create a solution to avoid timber going to landfill
  • understand how to improve the sustainability of building materials through the example of upcycling timber.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • choose and justify materials and features for a design addressing the needs of an identified user
  • critically evaluate and reflect on their work.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 3 & 4 Design and Technology:

  • examine design and technologies occupations and factors including sustainability that impact on the design of products, services and environments to meet community needs (AC9TDE4K01)
  • use given or co-developed design criteria including sustainability to evaluate design ideas and solutions (AC9TDE4P04)

Syllabus outcomes: ST2-11LW, ST2-14BE, ST2-15I, ST2-16P, ST2-5WT.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 3 & 4 achievement standards: Students describe how people design products, services and environments to meet the needs of people, including sustainability

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Support students in independent work

Resources required

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Bluetack or masking tape
  • Coloured pencils
  • Ice cream sticks or straws
  • Individual devices capable of taking photos – one per student
  • Recycling Timber Factsheet
  • Student Design Workbook – one copy per student


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

  • Community engagement
  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy

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. 

lesson saved in resources




More from this unit

See all
See all

Related content

Loading content...
Loading content...
Loading content...
Loading content...