Technology to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

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Students will be able to identify how technology can influence the life cycle of a product.

Big Idea

Students will review reducing, reusing, and recycling while brainstorming how technology can impact each process.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

I will begin the lesson with a whole group review of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. This concept was originally introduced in first grade. I will allow time for students to share what they remember about each topic. 

Next, we will review the informational resource Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. To check for understanding, I will ask students to explain the difference between reducing, reusing, and recycling. I will encourage students to be specific when explaining each process. As students explain, I will tell them to be mindful of the different technological pieces being used to assist in the process. For example, if students mention machines that are used for recycling to break down products, I will encourage them to share that thought with the class. I will share the objective with the students for today. Sharing the objective sets a purpose for learning so the students are aware of the expected outcome at the end of the lesson.


25 minutes

To begin the exploration section of the lesson, I will ask students to think about which practice, reducing, reusing, or recycling uses the least amount of natural resources. I will have students participate in the think pair share strategy to share their ideas. Allowing students the opportunity to have peer discourse is a great way for students to share ideas and feedback with one another. The students are also able to gather new ideas from one another.

Students were be given the opportunity to share their reasoning. I will encourage students to elaborate when sharing out to ensure that the audience understands their point of view. 

Next, I will ask students to think about how the use of technology and the choices we make as people influence a product's life cycle. I will share an example with the students to ensure that they understand what is being asked to them. I will pose the scenario of saving a document on Microsoft Word rather than printing it. I will repose the question to the students by asking how using this technology tool effects the life cycle of a product. We will discuss how this decision reduces the amount of energy, ink, and paper (all of which come from natural resources) that would be used if the document was printed. I will ask students to share how using the back of printed paper or recycling printed paper will effect the paper's life cycle.

I will inform students that they will be grouped together to create presentations on how technology can effect each practice. I will inform the students that I want them to ficus on how technology can extend the life cycle of a product. One group will create a presentation on technology and recycling, one group will present on reusing, and one on reducing. Students will be given a brainstorming sheet to record their ideas prior to practicing and presenting their presentations. I will encourage the students to be creative. They can create a visual layout such as a poster, a skit, a song, or even a poem.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To conclude the lesson, groups will be given the opportunity to share their presentations with one another. Allowing the students the opportunity to share, helps to build their confidence while encouraging student discourse and a culture of respect. As students share, I will ask the groups to share how our choices as humans, including using technology, influence the amount of natural resources that are used? I will also ask students to share their thoughts on if recycling does indeed extend the life cycle of a product. The student audience will be given the opportunity to share their feedback on each presentation.