By Vera Lyn Bradshaw


Completed as part of the requirements for ELED 4050

Spring Semester, 2000, Jay Monson, Course Instructor, USU



This unit is to teach children about recycling. Through a variety of ways children will learn that our world is a polluted place and it needs the children’s help to make it better.


Unit Summary

Lesson Plan


Internet Resources



Unit Summary


Unit goals and objectives

Unit initiation activities

Trash, Trash Everywhere

Additional initiation activities

Unit development activities

Causes of Pollution

Learning by Doing

Recycling Bins

Our Treasured Trees

Life Cycle Activity

Additional development activities

Unit culmination activities

Recycling conclusion

Additional culminating activities

Unit assessment activities

Additional assessment activities





Lesson Plan:

Causes of Pollution

Materials: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, worksheet, object that weighs 4 pounds, water or clear pop, and used car oil.


  • After reading the story, the children will be able to find similarities between our world and the Lorax’s.
  • The children will be able to see what pollution or garbage does to our environment and what can cause it.

Anticipatory Set:

  • Have a student carry a 4-pound object around the room.
  • Explain to students that 4 pounds is how much garbage a person throws away each day.
  • Talk to the students about how that can add up in a hurry. Multiply on the board 4 times 7 (a week), 21 times 4 (a month), 84 times 12 (a year).

Instructional Input:

  • Show the students the book The Lorax and ask them what they think they have in common with the Lorax.
  • Listen to the answers. After the discussion, tell them the Lorax lives in a land with a lot of pollution like they do.
  • Next, tell them you are going to read The Lorax to find out what happened to the Lorax’s land and what might happen to ours.
  • Hand out worksheet to the students.
  • Tell the students to answer the worksheet questions as they listen to the story.

Modeling/Checking for Understanding:

  • Ask students if they understand what they are supposed to do.
  • Begin reading the story.

Independent practice:

  • Students will write the answers on the worksheet as the story is being read.


  • Go over the worksheet.
  • Ask the students the following questions:
    • What causes air pollution?
    • What causes water pollution?
  • Put used oil or garbage in water or clear pop. Ask the students if they would want to drink that liquid.
  • What happens when all the trees are cut down? Discuss answers.
  • Ask students how they would live in a polluted world.
  • Ask the students how they can help solve these problems.
  • Have the students read some of their answers to #5 question.

Possible Extension:

  • Have the children fold a paper in half.
  • On one side draw a beautiful scenery picture. On the other side draw the same picture with garbage and pollution on it. Compare each side to show the difference in what happens to our world.




So Long!
In the real world, animals sometimes disappear because things change in their living space, or habitat. Fill in the chart. Tell why the creatures in The Lorax leave the Truffula Tree forest.

Who Leaves

The Bar-ba-loots leave because

The Swomee-Swans leave because

The Humming Fish leave because

The Lorax leaves because


Think about the answers that you wrote. How can people prevent these problems? Write your ideas here.


Internet Resources: