The Life Cycle of a Product

2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will identify the life cycle of a product.

Big Idea

Students will learn about what happens to items after we dispose of them.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

To begin this lesson, I will begin with a whole group discussion. I will display a plastic water bottle to the class. I will ask the students to share where they believe this item came from. I will ask them to think about what materials were used to make the bottle and how it was made. I will give students the opportunity to share their thinking.

Lastly, I will ask the students to share what they believe will happen after I am finished with the bottle. We will discuss what we believe will happen if the bottle is thrown in the trash or if it is placed in a recycling bin. Having the students think about these questions prior to getting further into the lesson, keeps the students engaged while encouraging deeper thinking.


25 minutes

We will begin this section of the lesson by reviewing two informational resources: Life Cycle of Aluminum and What Happens to Plastics. We will discuss the different life cycles of the two products. I will explain to students that every product goes through a series of stages. We will discuss how some products begin as a natural resource, then move on to a production or manufacturing stage, followed by the actual use of the product. 

I will ask the students to predict how the life of two different aluminum cans can be different. I will explain to students that they will need to create a presentation that represents the life cycle of a product. I will motivate the students to be creative by using a variety of different art forms to present their information. The students can create visual displays such as posters, comic strips, diagrams, puppet shows or even digital presentations that reviews the life cycle of their particular product. I will encourage the students to elaborate when sharing the details of their cycle in their presentation. Encouraging the students to elaborate ensures effective communication and understanding for the audience. Students will be given the opportunity to explore the digital resource Life Cycle Data to gain more information about their product and the processes of the life cycle.


Wrap Up

10 minutes

We will conclude this lesson with a presentation of the different life cycle presentations. Students will be given the opportunity to share their presentations and explain the life cycle of the product of their choice. I will encourage students to elaborate when presenting their work to ensure that the audience has a clear understanding of the process that their particular item goes through. This also helps me to identify which students are proficient in describing the life cycle of their product.