Recycling For Kids!

Recycling Inquiry Project

Compelling Question

  • Why should we recycle?

Supporting Questions

  • What can be recycled?
  • How can we improve recycling in our schools?

Background Information

What is Recycling?

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling is “the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products” (“Recycling Basics,” 2016).

Recycling through the years

  • The first ever-recorded use of recycling was in Japan in 1031 A.D. These people were reusing waste paper. They would “repulp” used paper and sell it to people (“A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling,” 2014).
  • Throughout the 1900s the public was not as actively involved in the recycling initiative like they are today. They were simply recycling to make money or survive the Great Depression (“A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling,” 2014).
  • The public slowly became more involved in the effort starting around 1995 when Americans recycled 47.6 billion soft drink containers.
  • More recently in 2015, California was the first state to create a ban on plastic grocery sacks in stores (“A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling,” 2014).

What can be recycled?

  • mainly any paper item like cardboard, junk mail, magazines, books, metal containers like, aluminum drink or baking containers, pots and pans, and empty aerosol cans, plastic containers like bottles, cups, jars, and plastic eating utensils can also be recycled (“Recycling Collection,” n.d.)

Benefits of Recycling

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some of the benefits include reducing the amount of trash in landfills, helps to prevent pollution, saves energy, and helps sustain the environment for generations to come (“Recycling Basics,” 2016)

Link to the picture:

Resources Used:

A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling. (2014). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from

Recycling Basics. (2016, April 7). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from

Recycling Collection. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from

Recycling Starts with You! (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

4 Steps for Inquiry

Basic Steps to Inquiry

How to teach this

1. Identify the Problem

  • · With the students the teacher will first identify the problem of “Why should we recycle?” (Compelling Question)
  • The students will read some of the books that are listed on Tab 10 in LiveBinder including, The Lorax and The Great Kapok Tree
  • Watch Episode 208 from Sid the Science Kid – Sid goes on an investigation about recycling, and reusing things -which makes much less trash!
  • The teacher and students will create an anchor chart that can be used to identify why we should recycle. The students will be compiling facts from the text and will be able to support these answers with evidence from the text (TEKS ELA Grade 3 2.B)
  • The teacher will then pose the supporting questions “How can we improve recycling in our schools” and “What kinds of things can be recycled?” The teacher will then explain to the students that we are going to be investigating these questions to find solutions

2. Research the Problem

  • · The students will first keep a log detailing how much paper they use in one school day
  • They will graph these results to see how much they use can be recycled
  • Teacher will continue to read books about recycling and have the students keep notes about answers to the compelling and supporting questions
  • Students will research why it is important to recycle through books found in their library and surveying people in their everyday life
  • Next, the students will engage in a research process that will help them to answer the compelling and supporting questions posed to them
  • The students will investigate this by doing a number of things. First the students will come up with interview questions that they want to ask different classes and teachers/administration in the school such as “does your classroom recycle?” “Do you what we can and cannot recycle?” “What do you think the benefits of recycling are?” the students will then graph results to the questions that they decide to ask

3. Examine Solutions Using Evidence

  • · The students will next analyze the data that they collected from their school survey they will use this information to help them understand what the community knows about recycling
  • TCU VP of External Affairs will come in and speak to the students about how she implemented recycling in her community and give the students ideas about how they can as well

4. Communicate Solutions and Take Informed Action

  • · Based on information that the students have gained from their inquiry, they will create a persuasive essay to explain why it is important to recycle and answer the compelling and supporting questions
  • The teacher will compile their writing and publish it into something that will be sent to the school
  • Next the students will propose their ideas of how to improve recycling at their school to administration and hopefully be able to get a plan with the school

Teaching Materials

Reused Robot!
Big image
Big image


  • §113.14. Social Studies, Grade 3 11) Citizenship. The student understands characteristics of good citizenship as exemplified by historical and contemporary figures. The student is expected to: C) identify and explain the importance of individual acts of civic responsibility, including obeying laws, serving the community, serving on a jury, and voting.
  • §115.5. Health Education, Grade 3. (6) Influencing factors. The student understands factors that influence individual and community health. The student is expected to: (A) relate how protecting the environment promotes individual and community health;
  • §111.5. Math Grade 3 (8) Data analysis. The student applies mathematical process standards to solve problems by collecting, organizing, displaying, and interpreting data. The student is expected to: (A) summarize a data set with multiple categories using a frequency table, dot plot, pictograph, or bar graph with scaled intervals; and
  • §110.14. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 3 2) Reading/Beginning Reading/Strategies. Students comprehend a variety of texts drawing on useful strategies as needed. Students are expected to: B) ask relevant questions, seek clarification, and locate facts and details about stories and other texts and support answers with evidence from text; and
  • §110.14. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 3 21) Writing/Persuasive Texts. Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues. Students are expected to write persuasive essays for appropriate audiences that establish a position and use supporting details.
  • §112.14. Science, Grade 3, 1) Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following school and home safety procedures and environmentally appropriate practices. The student is expected to: B) make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.