This lesson plan for A1 level primary learners aged 9 to 10 years old helps in raising awareness about recycling.

This is a series of activities and related worksheets for you to download and use with the storybook What if? Learners will make a leaflet on beach safety and give a presentation. It forms part of the Promoting diversity through children's literature series, produced by the British Council Teaching Centre in Paris.


9-10 years old



About the story

What if? is a story about recycling and is structured around the question 'What if …?' Children follow the journey of a thrown-away bottle and are encouraged to think about several different scenarios, such as: 'What if, you found the bottle and put a message inside?' The book is also an information book and each page is full of fascinating items to discuss and think about. Children are made aware of things that can be recycled and made into other useful goods and there is a recipe for making paper at the back of the book. This book provides an ideal starting point for working on the theme of recycling.

Language areas

  • The environment
  • Beach-related vocabulary
  • Recycling
  • Prepositions of place
  • Imperatives 

Diversity themes

  • Raising awareness of the journey of a piece of litter
  • Raising awareness of products which can and can't be recycled
  • Learning about the erosion process
  • Considering safety on beaches 

Main outcomes

  • Singing a song about recycling
  • Singing a traditional song
  • Carrying out a scientific experiment
  • Making a leaflet on beach safety
  • Giving a presentation of the story

What if?, Mick Manning and Brita Granström, Franklin Watts, ISBN 0 7496 3292 5

Story notes by Julia Diallo

The materials form part of the Promoting diversity through children's literature series, produced by the British Council Teaching Centre in Paris. You can download materials for five sessions of around three hours each. The materials include:

  • A sequence of activities – a plan for you to follow
  • Worksheets – for you to print and use with your learners
Language Level


Submitted by Umm salama Masaad on Fri, 03/03/2023 - 17:46

What if? is avery useful topic we really need to discuss such things with our kids, in order to teach them the importants of environment and how we should keep it for our new generation .

Submitted by Linda on Tue, 02/05/2019 - 10:02

Hi Julia! A little late to the party here, but I just came across your material and hope that you are still active and able to answer... I have dowloaded the lesson plans but am unable to find the book anywhere, do you have any tips on where I might be able to get hold of a copy? Thanks!

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Tue, 02/05/2019 - 13:52

In reply to by Linda

Hi Linda The ISBN for the book is given above - I've just done a quick online search and it seems to be available from most big online bookstores. It might depend a bit on where you live, obviously, but I hope you are able to get hold of a copy so that you can use the materials with your classes. Best wishes, Cath TE Team

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