Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Students learn about how to save the earth by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Students learn why waste is a problem, about the options for limiting waste, and read stories about different people from around the world who have found ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste.

Unit Summary

In this culminating unit, students learn about how to save the earth by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Over the course of the year, students studied the different seasons, learned about how animals and plants change and survive in different seasons, and explored some of the life cycles found in nature. Now, in this unit, students think about what they can do to make sure human waste does not hurt the environment. In the first part of the unit, students learn about waste, and why waste is a problem, especially plastic waste. Students then learn about options for limiting waste, including recycling, reducing, and reusing resources. In the second half of the unit, students read stories about different people from around the world who have found ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. Using what they have learned in the unit, students will then make a plan for what they can do to create a healthy community and environment.

As readers, students focus on identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text, describing the connection between individual events and ideas, and identifying basic similarities and differences between two texts on the same topic. In this unit, students explore a variety of texts, including more dense informational texts, poems, and narrative nonfiction.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • How does waste impact the environment?
  • What steps can you take to create a healthy community and environment?

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Produce simple sentences orally and in writing.
  • Use the conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so” orally and in writing.

In this unit, students continue to work on producing simple sentences orally and in writing and using the conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so” orally and in writing. Because this is the culminating unit of the year, most sentence work around simple sentences should be a review.

Narrative Writing Focus Areas

  • State an opinion about a topic. (WK.1)
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to include multiple details that support the opinion. (WK.1)

At the end of the unit, students write about which solution they think is best to help limit waste. This is the culminating opinion piece for the year.

Informational Writing Focus Areas

  • Name the topic they are writing about.
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to include some information about the topic.

In this unit, students create an informational book to teach readers about the Three R’s. This is the culminating informational writing piece for the year.

Vocabulary

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Text-based

ban biodegrade discarded dispose disposable environment reduce reuse reusable recycle rot transform useless useless

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our Kindergarten Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

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By the end of the unit, students will understand:

  • Waste is all of the things we throw away. Waste causes a lot of problems for people and the environment.
  • Plastic is a problem because it lasts forever. People throw plastic in the trash and it does not decompose. Plastic is in a lot of things, so there is a ton of plastic trash.
  • Reducing, reusing, and recycling are ways to limit waste.
    • To reduce the use of something means to use less of it.
    • To reuse something means to use it again.
    • To recycle something means to use it again to make new things.
  • People around the world have come up with different solutions for how to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic and other forms of waste.

Lesson Map

2

  • What a Waste pp. 30 – 33

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

Explain why plastic is a problem.

6

  • Recycle!

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

Explain what happens when something is recycled.

11

  • Compost Stew

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

Explain what compost is and what type of things can be composted.

12

  • Harlem Grown

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

Explain how Mr. Tony’s idea transformed the neighborhood.

17

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.K.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.K.1.f — Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

  • L.K.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.K.2.b — Recognize and name end punctuation.

  • L.K.4 — Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.

  • L.K.5 — With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  • L.K.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.K.2 — With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  • RI.K.3 — With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

  • RI.K.7 — With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).

  • RI.K.8 — With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

  • RI.K.9 — With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.K.2 — With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

  • RL.K.5 — Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).

  • RL.K.7 — With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.K.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.K.2 — Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

  • SL.K.6 — Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Writing Standards
  • W.K.1 — Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is…).

  • W.K.2 — Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

  • W.K.5 — With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

  • W.K.6 — With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

  • W.K.7 — Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).

  • W.K.8 — With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Spiral Standards

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RI.K.1

RI.K.10

RI.K.4

RI.K.5

RI.K.6

RL.K.1

RL.K.10

SL.K.3

SL.K.4

SL.K.5