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Citizenship, Life Literacies and Key Skills, Movement & Play


K, 1st, 2nd




60 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat!

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 29, 2024
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This lesson introduces the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle and has students create a classroom waste management plan. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students are introduced to the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle through an engaging video and cut and match sorting activity.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students practice RRR by sorting recyclables in The Great Reuse Reduce Recycle Relay!


Step 3 - Inspire: Students make a classroom waste management plan using the information they have gained throughout the lesson.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students participate in a hands-on and physically active learning activity.

  • Students collaborate and develop long-term plans together.

  • Students get a sense of ownership from developing a classroom waste management plan.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teacher needs to either:

    • Bring in materials to sort for The Great Reduce Reuse Recycle Relay.

    • Print the alternate materials in advance.

  • Some sort of large poster needs to be available to hang in an easily viewed space for students to have easy access to the classroom waste management plan.


  • Students could work in groups to complete the cut and sort in the Investigate stage if time is limited.

  • Students with physical limitations may do The Great Reduce Reuse Recycle Relay at their desk with the alternate materials or be the “bin monitor” to help ensure each relay team is sorting their materials correctly.

Scientist Notes

This lesson introduces students to the sustainable waste management principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle. They would be engaged in sorting waste and disposing of it into appropriate recycling bins. They would also be able to explain the implications of waste recycling on the environment. All materials are thoroughly sourced and written. Accordingly, this lesson has passed our science review.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standard

  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

Supporting Standards

  • Social Studies
    • Active Citizenship in the 21st Century - Civics, Government, and Human Rights
      • 6.3.2.CivicsPD.1: With adult guidance and support, bring awareness of a local issue to school and/or community members and make recommendations for change.
  • Career Readiness, Life Literacies, & Key Skills
    • Life Literacies and Key Skills
      • 9.4.2.CT.1: Gather information about an issue, such as climate change, and collaboratively brainstorm ways to solve the problem (e.g., K-2-ETS1-1, 6.3.2.GeoGI.2).
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