How can you recycle?
Step 1: Give the students a 5-10 minutes explanation of what recycling is, why it is important, and what they can do to recycle in their school and at home.
Step 2: Ask them to formulate open-ended questions about recycling that start with how, why, what, and when. Write the best ones on the board so that they can use them as examples.
Step 3: Tell the students to pair up and interview each other about recycling, using the questions from step 2. Have them take turns at being the interviewer. You can use a pen or a water bottle as a microphone.
Scaffolding: Right after step 1, tell them to take out a piece of paper and make a drawing of an object that can be recycled. One of the question for step 3 can be “what is the object you drew? Is it recyclable?”
Enrichment: After they have interviewed each other about recycling, tell the students to choose another topic they’ve learned about in class, and formulate new questions about that topic.
If you’ve never learned about recycling, take a look at this quick explanation
How are worms helpful to our environment? What makes them so unique?
Step 1: In the front of the class, do a little research about red wiggler worms to prepare them and to get them excited about working with worms in the coming weeks. Focus on their anatomy and what makes them unique. Ideas: worms have 5 hearts, breathe through their skin, have no ears or eyes. List the number of reasons they are necessary for the ecosystem as decomposers and aerators.
Step 2: Have a few students pick their favorite animal and in the front of the class compare them to what they learned about worms.
Scaffolding: Fold a piece of paper in two and on one side draw a picture of a worm and on the other the animal/ insect you selected. Now label all the new facts you found out about them on both sides.
Enrichment: Pick more complex animals to compare with worms. Try to find some animals or insects, that like worms, have a strange anatomy or characteristics. Ideas: butterflies, naked mole rat, bat, or a sloth.
This is a very helpful website to learn all about worms!
Help the students remember what they learned about composting, by going over the learned vocabulary.
– Sticky notes or flashcards
Step 1: Work with students to brainstorm a list of compost-related objects, using the vocabulary they have learned on Day One and Day Two. Examples include: compost, worm, garden, flower, banana peel. Use this brainstorming time to teach about the many different animals and people who are influenced by gardening and composting.
Step 2: Write these different words on separate sticky notes or flashcards, and stick them to students’ foreheads so they can’t read their own card.
Step 3: Students will then practice their interview skills by asking yes/no questions to figure out what they are, such as: “Am I alive?” “Do I have many nutrients?” The students can’t ask a more than one question to the same person, so they have to get up and move around. If you prefer to minimize movement around the classroom, students can partner with each other instead. In this case, limit the number of questions to five and see if students can figure out what they are with only these questions.
Scaffolding: Have your students draw pictures so it is more clear as to what it is that they are talking about to each other!
Enrichment: Encourage your students to use more complicated vocabulary that will really test their knowledge of what they have learned in the Leave it Better program such as: soil, compost cycle, recycling, vermicompost or anatomy.
If your are stuck, here is a helpful list of vocabulary related to composting