What is Recycling?

Students will learn about items that can be recycled.

INTRODUCTION: Boys and girls, today we are going to learn about trash. I am going to tell you all about the journey a piece of trash takes from your house to a great big place called a landfill. I’m also going to share with you how we can save some pieces of trash from going to the landfill. Listen carefully, the adventure is going to begin.

1. Raise your hand if you know what trash is (or ask “what is trash?”)
2. When you find something that is trash, what do you do with it? Where do we put trash? In the trash can/we throw it away.
3. Who can name one thing you throw away in the trash?
4. When the trash is full, what do we do with the full bag of trash? The bag of trash is taken outside and placed either in a trash can or a dumpster. A dumpster (Show picture) is a large trash can you can find outside child care centers, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
5. Do you know what happens to the trash once you take it outside? A large truck comes by and picks up your trash. It is called a trash truck. (Show picture.)
6. Where does the trash truck take our trash? A landfill. (Show picture) When the landfill becomes full with trash it is then closed and we will have to find a new place for all of our trash to go.
7. Sometimes we throw things away in the trash can that can be used again. They can be recycled. Recycling means taking something you were going to throw in the trash, such as a piece of paper, and turning it into something new and useful like a new book. You find a new way to use that item.
8. Four things we can recycle are: paper, glass, metal and plastic.
9. Lastly, do you know why we recycle? We recycle because it helps our earth. Recycling helps save natural resources, like trees. Remember, recycling is when we take something no longer being used and turn it into something new and useful. Some items can be recycled again and again. Two examples are glass and aluminum.

Activity Extension
You will need four brown paper bags, the size you get from the grocery store work well. On each bag you will write one of the following words: Plastic, Paper, Glass, or Metal. Each bag will represent one type of recyclable you talked about during circle time.

After you have completed Activity #1, ask the students to help you sort the items from the blue recycle bin. Tell the students that they are going to help you sort the items from the blue recycle bin into one of the four brown paper bags. Show them the four bags and demonstrate by pulling out a recycled item from the blue recycle bin. For example, if you pull out a newspaper show them that it goes in the brown paper bag labeled “Paper.” From there let each student have a turn picking one item out of the blue recycle bin and placing it in the corresponding brown paper bag.

Click Here to download the PDF of this activity.