National Recycling Week - Recycle Rescue

National Recycling Week - Recycle Rescue

Lesson 1 of 3 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 3 - 6
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Geography
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Environmental
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson students will learn about the environmental benefits of recycling mobile phones and printer cartridges. Students will learn about how old mobiles and printer cartridges can be rescued from going to waste by recycling them in the correct collection bin. Students will research key questions about recycling and the impact electronic waste has on the environment.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • learn that by recycling their mobiles and printer cartridges, they not only make their waste pile smaller, but also reduce the consumption of natural resources.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • form their own questions about e-waste
  • conduct research to answer their questions about e-waste
  • critically assess their thought processes around electronic consumption.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions:

Year 4 Geography:

  • The use and management of natural resources and waste, and the different views on how to do this sustainably (ACHASSK090)

Year 4 Science:

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)

Year 5 Science:

  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217)

Year 6 Science:

  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)

Year 5 & 6 Design and Technology:

  • Investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use (ACTDEK023)

Syllabus outcomes: GE2-3ST2-11LW, ST3-6PW.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative ThinkingPersonal and Social Capabilities.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.7, OI.9

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students apply the observable properties of materials to explain how objects and materials can be used. 

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students classify substances according to their observable properties and behaviours.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students compare and classify different types of observable changes to materials.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Geography achievement standards: Students develop geographical questions to investigate and locate, collect and sort information and data from different sources to answer these questions.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Design and Technology achievement standards: Students describe competing considerations in the design of products, services and environments, taking into account sustainability.

Unit of work: National Recycling week

Time required: 70 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class sharing activities and discussion.

Resources required

  • A range of whiteboard markers, internet access, data projectors and compatible device capable of playing an online video, enough devices to facilitate online research in groups of 3-4 students,
  • Student Worksheet (one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet)


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

  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Digital literacy

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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