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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Recycle for Life: Science Through Art
Recycle for Life: Science Through Art

HOW IT WORKS
Recycle for Life: Science Through Art educates and empowers children to make a difference by promoting environmental issues through art. Students draw conclusions and make comparisons from real-life data, and the art projects provide them with exciting hands-on experiences that stimulate comprehensive and informative nonfiction writing. During this inquiry based program, they discover the value of reducing waste and determine how to change wasteful behavior in school and at home. For a period of eight weeks, students develop a campaign to promote recycling using various media. They view a video, “Where Does the Garbage Go?,” that initiates discussions about the need to recycle and the impact of waste on the environment. They share ideas about recycling on the “Recycle for Life” wall. Then, the students create recycling campaign posters and hang them throughout the school. Next, students brainstorm various ways they can raise awareness. For example, they can conduct an audit to ensure that each classroom has the proper waste receptacles and signage, weigh the paper waste for two weeks, and chart the results, thus incorporating math into the program. They create word problems and collect and analyze data. Through a series of art projects, students discover various ways that paper can be reused. They collect paper boxes, decorate them, and distribute these “scrap boxes” to classrooms, explaining how to reuse paper for scratch copies, notes, and drawings. Other recycled-art projects include collage posters, Eric Carle collages, three-dimensional paper sculptures, and a fourteen-foot-long paper-plate dragon. For each project, students write “how to” instructions, thereby utilizing language arts. The final project is  making paper from the scraps that have been collected. This encompasses all the elements of this interdisciplinary program: teaching peers about separating paper waste, weighing the paper waste, and reusing paper through art. 

THE STUDENTS
All 625 students in grades K-5 participated in this program though their Art curriculum. It can easily be adapted by classroom teachers as well as small groups, including special education classes. 

THE STAFF
Pamela Saturday has taught Fine Arts at MNS for the past seven years. She holds a BA and MFA in Fine Arts and for the past two years has acted as Art Coordinator for District 2 in Manhattan. This program was conceived and implemented with the help of Lisa Sheers, Art Room Assistant, and Sherry D’ Angelo, Parent Volunteer.

WHAT YOU NEED 
Most materials are recycled and can be found around the school or brought from home. Additional supplies include scissors, glue, tempera and watercolor paints, and blenders, screens, and tubs for papermaking. A computer with Internet access and/or the public library can provide reference material. Local sanitation departments can help with videos and instructional materials.

OVERALL VALUE
Combining the science of recycling with art is a fun, creative, hands-on program that also addresses real-world problem solving. Students gain self-esteem as they learn a lifelong skill and share that knowledge with others in the community. This program meets New York State Standards for Science, Art, Math, and Language Arts, and addresses the needs for all learners. It provides a springboard to creativity, from which the possibilities of topics and projects are boundless. 

 

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Science
 Art
Math
Language Arts

GRADES
Grade
K-5

MORE INFORMATION

Pamela Saturday
Manhattan New School
P.S. 290
311 East 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028
pamsaturday@aol.com
Principal
Jacqui Getz.

IMPACT II 
Catalog 2002-2003

 

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