3rd Graders Learning about Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

Introducing 3 R’s to 3rd Grade and I Don’t Mean Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rmetic using “10 Things I Can Do to Help My World”

Our 3rd grade students are beginning a new International Baccaulareate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) unit of inquiry which covers the Georgia Perfomance Standards Science  S3L2. “Students will recognize the effects of pollution and humans on the environment”  https://www.georgiastandards.org/Standards/Georgia%20Performance%20Standards/ThirdGradeApproved7-12-2004.pdf . I found a great book to kick off this unit, 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh.  The book has bright, graphic illustrations and simple acts students can do themselves.

cover of Melanie Walsh's book

Melanie Walsh’s 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World

Introducing the 3R’s: Reducing, Reusing, & Recycling with Jack Johnson

I found a wonderful song on YouTube, Jack Johnson’s The 3 R’s.  It is so clever and catchy that the students were singing along right away, “Reduce, reuse, recycle” (even now I can’t get it out of my head).

I showed the video and then wrote the words:  reduce, reuse, and recycle on a white board with the number 1, 2, and 3 next to the words.  I explained that as I read the book the students would indicate by raising their fingers (1 finger for a reduce action, 2 fingers for a reuse action or 3 fingers for a recycle action) what the action was showing.  The students enjoyed it and I think they were getting the concept.  I also showed them one of my reusable shopping bags and a sheet of  copy paper that had been used on both sides.

Students connecting content

I heard from another teacher who worked with this 3rd grade class later in the day that some of the students were able to make the connection between what we discussed in the library media center in the morning and what they saw in a different context.  This teacher had run off the current week’s vocabulary words on copies of last week’s vocabulary lists that weren’t used and the students remarked that she was conserving natural resources by reusing the paper! Somebody got it!!  Let’s hope the continue to make connections in the real world.

Reduce

Reuse

Recycle

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