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Improving School Recycling

Subject: Language Arts, Science
Grade: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12


Brief Description

Students evaluate their school recycling programs and propose improvements.



  • define the word proposal.
  • study their school recycling program.
  • research ways to improve different aspects of the recycling program.
  • write a proposal highlighting suggested improvements.
  • work together in cooperative groups.


Earth Day, school, recycle, improvement, environment

Materials Needed


  • student-researched library sources and/or online sources about recycling and recycling programs
  • paper
  • pens or pencils
  • computer(s) with Internet access and a word processing program (optional)

Lesson Plan

This project should be completed over several lessons. The teacher decides the length of time needed to complete the project; the length of the project depends on the ages and abilities of the students.

Lesson 1

  • Discuss the meaning of the word recycle. Ask students to discuss ways the school recycles materials.
  • Ask students whether they can improve the school recycling program.
  • Discuss the meaning of the word proposal. Tell students that they are going to write a proposal to improve the school recycling efforts.
  • Organize students into small groups. Assign each group one aspect of school recycling. One group might focus on plastic, another on glass, and another on paper.

Lesson 2

Have each group research how the school recycles assigned material. Then have the groups use library and/or online sources to research new and/or different ways to recycle materials.

Lesson 3

Have each group write up its research as a report. Let each group present the material to the class.

Lesson 4

Have the class use the information from each group's research to write the recycling improvement proposal. Let the class present the completed proposal to the school administration.


  • Idea 1: For younger students: Have the class work together on the project. Let students focus on one aspect of recycling; for example, have the class write a proposal to improve the recycling of plastic materials at school.
  • Idea 2: Have students evaluate their community's recycling program.


Evaluate students' participation in the project.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts: