As citizens of a world with limited resources we all need to think about how best to use these resources, whether we are in the developed world or the developing world. This activity will help pupils think more about recycling at home and at school. It is aimed at older primary or younger secondary pupils.



  • Recycling


  • Lexis related to materials and household items
  • Skills – speaking and writing

Prepare one copy of the worksheet per pupil. Alternatively, in the spirit of recycling, copy (or project) the worksheet on the board and get pupils to copy it in their notebooks or on the back of a used sheet of paper.


  • Ask pupils what they know about recycling. Brainstorm on the board types of materials that can be recycled. Pupils may need help with this vocabulary (E.g. paper, plastic, metal, glass).
  • Give out the worksheet to pupils and ask them to write as many things as they can think of made of these materials (e.g. bottles, magazines, boxes etc). “Other” could include clothes or vegetable waste (biodegradable) depending on the facilities in your area. This can be done with pupils working individually, in pairs or in groups.
  • Collect their ideas on the board and make sure that all pupils have a good list of recyclable items on their worksheets.
  • Tell pupils to talk together in groups about how to recycle these things and what problems they will have. Monitor and help with vocabulary and ideas.
  • Pupils take their lists home and for one week keep count of how much they (or their families) recycle. You might want to give pupils stickers to put on the sheet every time they recycle something. Tell pupils to bring their worksheets back next week.
  • Next week see which pupil recycled the most. You might like to give the winner a green prize, for example a small bag made from recycled materials.

Pupils can go on to write about their experience of recycling – what, when and how they did it. You could even set up a school project – get pupils to brainstorm how to do it.

By Chris Baldwin




Your activity is probably one of the best I've ever come across. The activity was really interesting and useful for my students. It helped them to think more about recycling now. Keep up the excellent work.

This is very practical activity. I have 7th grades at school. In their course book we have several topics about recycling. I think this activity works out well with this grade. Your idea of keping count of how much they or their families recycle is awesome. So students bring their knowledge home and I also think that they learn better when  their family is involved or when they assighned to do something during a week. I am sure that after this activity students will know the ways of recycling by heart. Thank you for this activity which makes our course book material more appealing for students.

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