Recycling and environmental ideas for the classroom

Teachers! You know how hard it is to come up with lesson ideas. Here are a few tried-and-tested ideas that go will with primary and secondary learning, and fit well into the curriculum.

Poster competition   

Test your classroom’s creative and artistic skills with posters that encourage others to recycle more waste and to think of the environment. While this can be a straight art project, encourage ‘out of the box’ thinking to create posters that feature actual recycled goods.

Recycling monsters

Get pupils to bring in appropriate waste from home, and build ‘monsters’ out of cardboard etc. Once term ends, recycle the monsters!

Litter pick

You need not even go out of school grounds for this – select groups of pupils to go round the school perimeter and pick litter. Have different litter bags so they can sort the waste into the right bags as they go along, and provide tongs or similar instrument so pupils don’t have to touch litter. Give prizes and/or recognition for the group that picks up the most.

We recognise there are health and safety risks involved, so discretion may be required: Pupils will be out of your site (unless they are accompanied by a classroom assistant), and there is the danger of picking up dangerous waste or coming into contact with faeces. 

Nature garden 

A long-term project that is gaining popularity in many schools. Create a nature garden in a relatively unused corner of the school. Pupils can log the plants and creatures that grow there. It’s best done in collaboration with other classes and year groups to instil pride in the work across that school. Some schools have planted flower beds and vegetable plots, or have even kept livestock. The sky’s the limit, and encourages creativity, pride in a project, observation and teamwork.