Games provide great exercise while teaching about the importance
- get physical
exercise as they learn about local recycling efforts.
- learn about
the importance of recycling. `
- learn how to
sort trash for recycling.
- display good
sportsmanship during all activities.
recycle, phys ed, physical education, relay, race, Olympics,
materials depend on the races that comprise your Recycle
Games. Most materials are common classroom, phys ed, or
recycling props. See activity ideas below for specific materials.
lesson, students participate in relay races and games that
make use of recycled materials and other "trash."
the Lesson.Recycle Relay
Games/Activities: Recycling Relay (pdf document, scroll to page 4)
Before the lesson, you might want to look at one or more of
the following resources offering activity ideas you can include
in your Recycle Games:
the activities found in the above resources are just for fun,
but others have purposeful instruction at their root. For example,
some activities provide students with practice deciding which
trash items are recyclable and sorting those items appropriately.
Those activities are easy to adapt so they will relate to the
specific rules/guidelines of your community's recycling program.
relays and games can be found below.
Decide in advance which activities will be part of your
Recycle Games and how you plan to organize the games. Many
of the activities can be adapted for use for individual or
team fun and learning.
a fun and healthful exercise and education experience, incorporate
the lesson ideas above with some additional ideas that emphasize
the use of recyclable materials. You might
individual students' times,
students into relay teams (the first student to complete
the course taps the next team member in line; the race continues
until all team members have run the course),
do the activities just for fun.
activity instructions below are written with small-team competition
Can Relay. Set up five classroom trash cans in an obstacle
course. The first student on the team runs the course, weaving
in and out around the cans. When the student reaches the
last can, he or she turns around and weaves back to the
team. The runner taps the next team member in line, who
takes his/her turn running the course
Bowling. Set up bowling pins made from 2-liter soda
pop bottles, small bleach bottles, or tall dishwashing detergent
bottles. Tip: Put about an inch of sand in the bottom of
the bottles; the pins will still be easy to bowl down, but
the bottles won't fall as easily as they would if there
was no sand in them.
No Water. Fill a clean open-topped non-breakable container
(a plastic spaghetti sauce jar or a soup can work well)
with water for each team; be sure the containers are the
exact same size and filled to the brim with water. Set a
start and finish point. At a signal, the first runner heads
for the finish line, walks over the line, turns around and
heads back to his or her team, and passes the container
to the next person in line. At the end of the race, the
team with the most water still in the container is the winner.
Newspaper Relay. Provide a stack of newspapers for each
team and have team members divide the stack evenly among
themselves. Set up a paper bag or recycle bin (or whatever
container your community uses for recycling newspaper) at
a finish line. At a signal, the first member of the team
carries his or her stack of newspaper to the finish line,
deposits it in the container, runs back to the team, and
taps the next person in line.
for Points. Paint five coffee cans with bright colors.
Paint or draw a point value on each can. (Suggestions: Paint
the number 5 on one can, the number 10 on another, 15 on
a third, 20 on a fourth, and 50 on the fifth.) Set up the
coffee cans in a row. Give students three golf balls and
three chances to accumulate points for their team.
Towers. This activity can be done one team at a time.
Provide a recycle bin full of clean aluminum cans (for example,
soda pop cans). At a signal, students have 2 minutes to
stack the cans one atop another. Each student takes a turn
at building a tower by stacking cans one atop the other.
The student on each team who builds the tallest tower then
represents his or her team in a final team-against-team
students on their good sportsmanship during the relay games.
Lesson Plan Source
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Physical Education
GRADES K - 12
Respect for Others
miss dozens of lesson and project ideas in Education World's
Click to return to this week's Lesson Planning article, Five
Lessons Teach Students to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Originally published 04/11/2003
Links last updated 04/10/2007