Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! - Earth Day Activity

As part of your Earth Day discussions, invite your students to explore these new vocabulary words and concepts - reduce, reuse, recycle! We found some fantastic worksheets and exercises to help with this lesson from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants! and April at Chalk Talk.

kindergarten Earth Day activity reduce printable worksheet
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Invite your students to describe what they think happens to our garbage after it's picked up by the truck. Talk about landfills and bring in examples of common 'garbage can items' in order to talk about how long it takes for those particular items to decompose/break down:

  • Paper = 2.5 months
  • Plastic bags = 10 to 20 years
  • Tin can = 100 years
  • Styrofoam = NEVER!

[Information from the New York Times via That Danny!]

Discuss what reduce means {i.e. what it means to make something small} and use this fantastic worksheet to brainstorm ways to reduce our consumption, conserve our Earth's precious resources, the amount of garbage we throw away, etc.

kindergarten Earth Day activity printable reuse worksheet
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Discuss the following vocabulary words - waste, resources, conserve, etc. Invite your kinders to recount a time they wasted something they knew could be used again. Use Rachelle's worksheet to brainstorm ways in which our Earth's resources can be conserved by using something over instead of throwing it away and/or actions we can take to prevent waste.

kindergarten Earth Day activity printable recycle worksheet
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Your kiddos are likely to be more familiar with this concept, but revisit the term and its meaning {i.e. taking an old/used product and making it into a new one}. Without embarrassing anyone, poll students to see if they sort and recycle trash at home. Discuss ways in which recycling can be simplified or how to organize a "recycling revolution" at home. Use the printable worksheet to brainstorm and list items that can {and should!} be recycled.

kindergarten Earth Day reduce reuse recycle printable worksheet activity
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As a way to wrap up the lesson {and see if they've been listening!}, have your students complete April's Earth Day worksheet - drawing and describing a particular item that shouldn't be thrown away and giving two different ways in which it can be used for something else!

Also, consider setting out sorting mats and provide students with tangible items or pictures and have them sort the objects into the correct category - reduce, reuse, or recycle. With these comprehensive exercises, your students are sure to remember the importance of keeping the earth clean and how they each have a role to play!