Trash vs. Recycling
Burgess Elementary School

The purpose of the lesson is for students to learn how to cope with negative thoughts and actions. Trash and recycling will be discussed to link negative thoughts and actions to trash and gotten rid or of “recycled” into positive thoughts and actions. Curriculum connections can be made between trash and recycling and standards that address habitats and the environment,  and the effect of human activity on those habitats and environment.

  • Students will understand the difference between positive and negative thoughts and actions.
  • Students will understand the difference in trash and recycling.
  • Students will be able to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
  • Students will understand how to stand up for friends and "recycle" mean words and actions.
  • Students will develop personal qualities that contribute to their being an effective learner.
  • Students will understand and appreciate self.
  • Students will understand and respect others.
  • a trash can
  • a recycling container
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by: Patty Lovell
Begin by discussing the lifelong guideline of no put downs. Have students think of some times that they have given themselves put downs (maybe when they were having trouble doing something, made a mistake, don't like something about themselves) -Show the trash can and ask: "What is this can for?" "What kinds of things are trash?" "Do you ever eat trash?" "Why not?" -Explain to students that sometimes humans put trash in their own heads by giving themselves put downs. For example, they talk to themselves and say things like, "I can't do this," or "I'm stupid," or "This is awful." Explain how these thoughts become "trash" for the mind, how they use a lot of negative energy, and how they get in the way of unique and wonderful characteristics each person has inside themselves.

Discuss recycling and why our school places so much emphasis on recycling. Explain that when you recycle, you take "trash" and make it into something useful and it is good for our environment. When you have a "trash" thought, you can ask yourself some questions such as, "Can I change this? If so, how? If not, what can I do to make the most of my situation?" Examples: You think your nose is too big. Can you change it? What can you say to yourself to make the best of the situation? You're having a hard time learning how to read. Can you change it? What can you say to yourself to make the best of the situation?

Write some statements and read them to the students. Have volunteer students come up and read the statement and decide if it is trash or if it has been recycled. If it is trash, have them drop it in the trash can. If it has been recycled, place it in the recycling bin. I'll never learn to read! I hate doing this assignment! If I keep  working hard, I will finish this assignment. This word is really hard to sound out, but if I keep working, I'll get it. This picture I drew is ugly! I did my best on that  test even though I didn't get all the questions right. Nobody likes me. I have some great friends and family who think I am pretty special. If I keep showing how responsible I can be, someone is going to notice. Discuss how students are using different life skills when they are working to eliminate "trash".
  • Effort- because thinking positive thoughts helps you to keep working hard on your assignments and not give up.
  • Caring- because it shows care to yourselves and others to not say any "trash" words to others or yourself.
  • Friendship-because being a good friend means that you do not put others down.
  • Respect-because we are each unique and special and we have no right to put others down.

Read Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by: Patty Lovell Students will also be able to see in the book how Molly Lou Melon takes the "trash" given to her and recycles it with the help of her grandma and wins the friendship of the school bully in the end.
Assessment will be made through teacher observations and anecdotal records.