Return to Chemistry IndexRecycling

Donna L. Mead Bass Elementary School

1140 W. 66th Street

Chicago IL 60636

(773) 535-3279Objectives:

The third grade student will be able to:

1. Define recycling.

2. Identify recyclable materials.

3. Categorize recyclable materials.

4. Understand the importance of filtration

5. Identify the recycle symbolsMaterials Needed:

chalk recyclable paper

blender recyclable plastic

window screen recyclable aluminum (tin)

plastic bowl shoebox with lid

construction paper onion

paper towel baking soda

tissue paper 2 Ziploc bags

baking pan measuring spoon

newspaper saucer

6 plastic cups coffee filter

terry cloth gauze

waterStrategy:

Introduction:

The teacher will ask students to tell the uses of water. Wait for

response. The teacher will then ask students to imagine the world without

water. Wait for students to respond. Students will understand the importance

of water and know that they can not exist without it. The teacher will stress

the importance of clean water and explain to students the natural process of

filtration.

Activity 1:

Students will observe an experiment to show how water is filtered using various

types of filters. The teacher will have six plastic cups. The first three will

be labeled A, B and C. Each cup will have a tablespoon of soil. Then fill

with water (stir the soil and water well). Cover the second set of three cups

with a filter. There are three filters in all (coffee filter, terry cloth, and

gauze). Ask students to predict which cup will filter the cleanest water. Wait

for responses. Demonstrate for students by pouring the first cup marked A into

the cup with the coffee filter. Then do the same for cup B. Explain to

students that the filter with the most soil on top is the one that would have

the cleaner water.

The teacher will explain to the students how water is recycled by a natural

process similar to the experiment. The teacher will generate a discussion on

recycling. Students will be able to give a definition on recycling from

discussion, the teacher will identify for students the symbols for recycling.

Activity 2:

The teacher will show students various recyclable items. Some items will bear

the recycle symbol and some will not. Ask students to come up and examine the

items. The items should include plastics, aluminum (tin), and paper

(cardboard). Have students make columns on their notebook paper. Label each

column [paper, plastic, and aluminum (tin)]. Ask students to write the items

that belong to the categories on their paper. Also, have students mark an

asterisk next to the items that have the symbol displayed. Ask students if the

items that did not have symbol can be recycled? Tell them yes, because

sometimes items will not have symbol but will tell you to recycle.

The teacher will explain to students how their input to recycle will help save

our planet. Tell students to go home and look for items with the symbol or the

word recycle displayed.

Activity 3:

The teacher will explain to students how paper is recycled in order to be

reused. The teacher will pass out one piece of construction paper to every

student. Have students tear the paper into tiny pieces. The teacher will

choose two or three students at a time to come up and put their pieces into a

plastic bowl. The teacher will have a blender ready for use. Students will be

asked to observe while the teacher mixes into the blender. Twenty percent paper

and eighty percent water. The paper should mix until it is pulp like. Once the

paper is pulp, the teacher will place a screen into a baking pan, and pour the

pulp onto the screen. Students will observe and ask questions if necessary.

The teacher will spread the pulp evenly and place newspaper on top of the pulp,

(a sponge can also come in handy for drying). Lift the screen from the baking

pan and flip over onto some newspaper for drying purposes. The teacher can

remove the screen and cover homemade paper with newspaper. You have just made

your very own homemade paper. Let paper stand to dry. Students will enjoy

watching and participating in paper making.

The teacher will explain to the students the importance of recycling paper. The

teacher will emphasize that there aren't enough trees in the world to cut down

for paper making. Students will be asked what would happen if all the trees

were cut down. Wait for responses. Explain to students that trees protect us

from pollution in the air.

Activity 4:

The teacher will cut an onion the day before the lesson and place into a shoebox

with a lid. The shoebox will have a tablespoon of baking soda sprinkled in it.

It is important that the onion sits in the shoebox overnight with the baking

soda. The teacher will have two Ziploc bags marked used and unused. The unused

bag will have a tablespoon of baking soda. The day of the lesson, the teacher

will have students smell the unused bag, then take a tablespoon of the baking

soda from the shoebox and place it in the used bag. Students should smell the

onion in the used bag and not smell anything in the unused bag. Students will

learn that the baking soda absorbed the smell from the onion. The teacher

should stress to students how breathing pollutants in the air can have an effect

on our bodies.

This last activity is an introduction to a lesson on air pollution.Performance Assessment:

Have students define recycling orally. Allow students to explain why it is

important to recycle. Ask students to name recyclable items and why are the

items recyclable. Students will demonstrate how filtration works by giving

examples through illustration.