1st/2nd Grade Lesson Plan Developed by:

Barry Utley

Utah State University Student

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Unit Summary:
    I have created this unit with the hopes that by exposing the students to the importance of recycling, they will become more conscious of what they can do collectively and individually to preserve the beautiful environment in which they live.  It is also my hope to lay a foundation for future learning which takes place in the later years of elementary school.  Most importantly, the students will become aware of what is taking place in the environment which surrounds them and what they can do to ensure that it is there for their children's children.

"The Lifecycle of Aluminum"

1. The student will understand the importance of recycling aluminum.
2. The student will learn that it takes more energy to make new aluminum than it does to recycle it.
3. The students will learn of the recycling process as it applies to aluminum.

Nearly everybody drinks beverages that are packaged in aluminum.  Because of this simple fact, it is important that people are aware of where it comes from and what happens to it when we have consumed the beverage.  After learning of what happens if it is recycled as opposed to dumped in a landfill, students can better appreciate the need for recycling.

1. Review the concept of a cycle. (Something that goes around and around)
2. Introduce the concept of the lifecycle of aluminum.  (Draw it on the board.)
3. Explain that in order to save the Earth's natural resources (bauxite), it is crucial that aluminum is recycled.  Explain that it requires less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to produce it from bauxite, soda ash and lime.  Ask for ideas about why this is true.
4. Tell the class that it takes 500 years for a can to biodegrade in a landfill.  Wowsers!
5. Explain the stages of the recycling process of aluminum.  (Look at page 25 of Paul Showers book, Where Does the Garbage Go?) (See also Coping with Metal Trash by Jamie Daniel, page 24-25; and Recycle! A Handbook For Kids by Gail Gibbons, for additional information)
6. Have the students draw the recycling process of aluminum.  On their drawing, have them list one reason why it is important to recycle aluminum.

*Where does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers, 1994.
*Recycle! A Handbook For Kids by Gail Gibbons, 1992.
*Coping with Metal Trash by Jamie Daniel, 1994.
*Sheets of white drawing paper and some crayons

For this assignment/activity, the drawings of the student will represent what they learned after being exposed to the recycling process of aluminum.  Most important is the exposure they are receiving to this concept and the reasons why it is important.  That is why they are listing one important reason why we recycle aluminum.

***Check out this cool site to help teach the concept of the lifecycle of aluminum***