January 2009


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
(Tune: “William Tell Overture”)

Reduce, reuse, recycle (Stand and stretch arms out and move in a circular motion
Reduce, reuse, recycle as you bounce up and down to the beat.)
Reduce, reuse, recycle
To help protect our planet earth!

Reduce, reduce, don’t use too much— (Arms in circles.)
Take a little, that’s enough. (Hold up index finger and thumb and then shake finger.)
Conserve food, water, energy
And don’t buy more than what you need. (Shake head “no” as you shake your finger.)

Reuse, reuse, be kind today; (Arms in circles.)
Don’t throw things out, give them away. (Pretend to give something away.)
Think before you buy it new— (Point index finger to head.)
Maybe something old will do!

Recycle—it’s so easy to do! (Arms in circles.)
Plastic, glass, and paper too.
Cardboard and aluminum cans,
Give your trash a second chance! (Hold up two fingers.)

Reduce, reuse, recycle (Make circles with your arms as you bounce to the beat.)
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Reduce, reuse, recycle
To help protect our planet earth!


• Draw the symbol for reduce, reuse, recycle on the board. Ask children if they know what it means. Have they ever seen it before? Go to earthodyssey.com and learn about the different recycling symbols for the United States. As a homework assignment, have them look around their homes for these symbols and bring in examples to class. Display these on a shelf or table.

• Let children make collages of the recycle symbol from scraps of paper, leaves, twigs, yarn, buttons, trash in their desk, and other materials. Display these around the school or in a public building, such as the courthouse or post office.

• Bring in an old bird’s nest in a plastic bag. Let children observe it with a magnifying glass and make a list of all the objects they see in the nest. Why are birds called “natural recyclers”?

• Plant a bio-garden in your classroom or on the playground. A simple version can be made by filling a plastic tub with dirt. Let the children suggest different things to plant in the garden to discover what will decompose. For example Styrofoam, aluminum foil, tissue paper, apple core, a plastic toy, egg shell, etc. “Plant” these in the dirt and label each with a popsicle stick. Water and set aside for several weeks. Encourage the children to predict which items they think will decompose. Dig up the objects and compare. Learn more about creating a compost pile at home or school by going to epa.gov.

• Have a special bin in your classroom for paper that has only been used on one side. Use to the paper to make books, draw pictures, or for other work.

• Use reusable plates, cups and eating utensils. Encourage children to bring lunches from home in reusable containers.

• To reduce the amount of paper you use in your classroom, provide children with dry erase boards or chalkboards.

• You can also put worksheets in clear plastic sheet protectors. Children can complete them with a dry erase marker and then erase with a damp cloth.

• Another tip is to put practice skill sheets in magnetic photo album pages. Children can complete them with a dark crayon and then erase with a used dryer sheet.

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