Think Out of the Box: Recycle in a Box

MSU Student(s): Kelly Gardner, Phil Goeman, Jordan Racklin-Costello, Sara Spala, David Vogel
Mentor Teacher: Jessica Eaton
MSU Instructor: Kim Keglovitz          Email:
Date: May 01, 2012           Grade Level: 3rd grade

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Recycling and the Environment

Type of Service

Indirect, Advocacy

Point of Entry

Students noticed that our school did not have recycling programs and that we use a lot of paper in the class and were just throwing it away. Students noted that they recycled at home or that their friends at other schools recycled. We talked about how the paper we throw away impact the environment through many steps.

Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Students address the need for recycling in their community starting with their own school. They will find ways to encourage recycling by promoting it in the other classrooms through their presentations of the project. A recycling program at the school will be planned and put into action and spread throughout the whole school and maybe the community.

Rationale & Goal

State the goal of your SL project.

Students will understand the problem of deforestation, come up with solutions to the problem, and then act on their solutions. After discussing the possible solution of recycling and carrying it out, this will allow students to practice good citizenship by reducing their waste. At the same time, they will also learn how to share their ideas with others.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

We will be addressing the need for better systems in place that encourage recycling in schools. We determined this need because students noticed we used an extensive amount of paper in the classroom so we decided it was important to reduce our environmental footprint by establishing a recycling system in our school.

What service will you provide to address the need?

We will establish a recycling program and provide recycling bins by making them and decorating them. Students will distribute them around the school in well-marked bins and well-placed locations. Students will also go class-to-class giving a small speech to explain why the project is crucial and to promote recycling in the bins.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

Students will learn about deforestation and their environmental footprint. They will learn how recycling can reduce their footprint and therefore, deforestation.

Students will document their ideas, processes, actions, and thoughts throughout the entire project which will develop their writing skills. Students will also learn persuasive writing in the creation of the speech they write to present their projects to the classrooms.

Students will find a measurement for the amounts of paper recycled in the schools. They will learn to calculate totals and use division and multiplication to find per classroom totals. Students will then develop their graphing skills to construct total graphs and per classroom graphs and then and assess the results.

What are the educational goals?

Our educational goals include students improve their writing skills, learn and practice speaking skills through their persuasive speech. Also, develop graphing and math skills. Additionally, learn how their environmental footprint affects the world through deforestation.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 03 SCI (Earth Science)
TLW: Identify and classify renewable and nonrenewable natural resources and describe the human impact on the environment.

Strand: 03 Math (Measurement and Data
TLW: Recognize perimeter as an attribute of plane figures and distinguish between linear and area measures. (Gist: Area and Perimeter)

Strand: 03 ELA: (Writing)
TLW: Participate in shared research to build and present knowledge. (Gist: Research to Build and Present Knowledge)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project

Standards: From,1607,7-1406530_30334_51042-232021–,00.html

OA.3 Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
M.UN.03.05 Know the definition of area and perimeter and calculate the perimeter of a square and rectangle given whole number side lengths.
M.UN.03.06 Use square units in calculating area by covering the region and counting the number of square units. [Core]
M.UN.03.07 Distinguish between units of length and area and choose a unit appropriate in the context. [Core]
M.UN.03.08 Visualize and describe the relative sizes of one square inch and one square centimeter. [Extended]
Estimate perimeter and area
M.TE.03.09 Estimate the perimeter of a square and rectangle in inches and centimeters; estimate the area of a square and rectangle in square inches and square centimeters.
3. MD.5 Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.
a. A square with side length 1 unit, called “a unit square,” is said to have “one square unit” of area, and can be used to measure area.
b. A plane figure which can be covered without gaps or overlaps by n unit squares is said to have an area of n square units.
3.MD.6 Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft., and improvised units).
3. MD.7 Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.
a. Find the area of a rectangle with whole- number side lengths by tiling it, and show that the area is the same as would be found by multiplying the side lengths
3. MD.8 Solve real world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with the same perimeter and different area or with the same area and different perimeter.
3. MD.7 Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.

S.IP.E.1 Inquiry involves generating questions, conducting investigations, and developing solutions to problems through reasoning and observation.
S.IP.00.11 Make purposeful observation of the natural world using the appropriate senses.
S.IP.00.12 Generate questions based on observations.
S.IP.00.13 Plan and conduct simple investigations.
S.IP.00.15 Make accurate measurements with appropriate (non-standard)
units for the measurement tool.
S.IP.00.16 Construct simple charts from data and observations.
S.IA.E.1 Inquiry includes an analysis and presentation of findings that lead to future questions, research, and investigations.
S.IA.00.12 Share ideas about science through purposeful conversation.
S.IA.00.13 Communicate and present findings of observations.
S.IA.00.14 Develop strategies for information gathering (ask an expert, use a book, make observations, conduct simple investigations, and watch a video)

W.GN.03.04 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
W.GN.03-05.04 use the writing process to produce and present a research project: 3 – initiate research questions from content area text from a teacher-selected topic; and use a variety of resources to gather and organize information. 4 – using a teacher-approved topic; find and narrow research questions; use a variety of resources; take notes; and organize relevant information to draw conclusions. 5 – use a variety of resources to gather and organize relevant information into central ideas and supporting details for a teacher-approved narrowed focus question and hypothesis.
W.GN.03-05.04 use the writing process to produce and present a research project: 3 – initiate research questions from content area text from a teacher-selected topic; and use a variety of resources to gather and organize information. 4 – using a teacher-approved topic; find and narrow research questions; use a variety of resources; take notes; and organize relevant information to draw conclusions. 5 – use a variety of resources to gather and organize relevant information into central ideas and supporting details for a teacher-approved narrowed focus question and hypothesis. R.MT.03-05.02 plan, monitor, regulate, evaluate skills, strategies, and processes to construct and convey meaning (e.g., decoding unknown words), and use graphic organizers to deepen understanding of 3 – problem/solution and organizational patterns. 4 – compare/contrast, and sequential organizational patterns. 5 – select an appropriate text type from known genre for particular writing purposes; and use theory/evidence, cause/effect, and persuasive organizational patterns. R.CM.03-05.01 connect personal knowledge, experiences, and understanding of the world to themes and perspectives in text through oral and written responses. R.CM.03.02 retell in sequence the story elements of grade-level narrative text, major idea(s), and relevant details of grade-level informational text. R.CM.04-05.02 retell through concise summarization grade-level narrative and informational text.


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

Students are writing in their journals throughout the whole project. This allows them to reflect on their processes, actions, feelings, etc. At the end of the unit, we will be collecting the recycling and adding up the results. Students will then discuss and write in their journals if they feel they made an impact and if their project was successful.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc.)

The concept of deforestation is a global issue so we will be including the different perspectives of many nations and counties around the world and how deforestation is affecting them. When learning about deforestation, we will discuss how it impacts different countries and people around the world.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

In brainstorming for a project, students are given the opportunity to bring up issues they notice nit eh community. They are also given the freedom to come up with their own solutions and one solution is voted on. Students are given the creative freedom to decorate the boxes how they want.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

Also, they will be partnering with the other classrooms in the school where they place recycling bins. Additionally, the principal would have to be on board with the project so students would partner with him/her as well.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

From the partnership with the other classrooms and the principal, they will learn how to present information in a persuasive manner in order to convince them to participate in the project and also, they will have greater pride in their work because their impact will be bigger because it is expanded outside their classroom.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

Everyone will benefit because there will be a recycling program in the school. This will help the community and the world because it will reduce the carbon footprint and make for a cleaner world and therefore a healthier population.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Students will brainstorm the problems, create a plan to implement a recycling program, put the program into action, create recycling bins to disperse around the school, and collect results of how much is recycled.

How will you assess your service goals?

Use student made graphs of the totals we collected form the classrooms to assess how much we recycled.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

The project as brought up by students through their note of how much paper we used and the fact that we did not have a place to recycle it. After watching The Lorax and after they were introduced to environmental issues through the movie, we discussed the major problems and solutions.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Watching the Lorax, journaling for brainstorming, making recycling bins, dispersing recycling bins around the school, collecting recycling, and tallying data.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

It helps the planet through environmental stewardship because we are reducing our ecological footprint, getting students to think about their impact on the environment early, and non-renewable resources.

It encourages economic growth because it gives students skills that they will need later in the business and professional world. Skills include collaboration, data collection, public speaking, etc.

It improves student’s communication skills with the people of the community through written and oral language.