From Trash to Treasure! (A. Evans)


(Photo courtesy of North County Times)

After learning about what happens to our waste and how we can reduce and recycle, students will explore how to reuse common household and classroom items.


  1. Students will watch video showing how recycled materials are broken down, processed, and made into new items. The teacher will also pass around items that were made using recycled materials.
  2. Students will visit The Imagination Factory and/or 50 Things You Can Reuse to explore how household items can be reused or recycled into artwork.
  3. Students will create one example of recycled art or a reused/repurposed item that can be used in the classroom or at home.
  4. Students will share their creations with the class and explain what items they reused instead of throwing them in the trash.
  5. Students will participate in a class brainstorming session and create a word splash containing ideas for how classroom waste (paper, etc.) can be reused intead of thrown away.

Possible Extension Activities:

  • Host an art show at the school featuring only artwork created with recycled items.
  • Host a swap meet in the school gymnasium so that students or families can trade unwanted household items that they would have otherwise thrown away.
  • Create a classroom Flat Stanley and use recycled materials to decorate him. Mail Flat Stanley to another classroom in another city or state and explain the efforts your class and school have been taking to reduce waste and recycle/reuse items. Encourage the recipient class to become a "green classroom" and ask what efforts they are currently making or plan to make in the future.