Upcycle That! Grade 4 Waste in Our World

upcycle-by Dave Bennett and Katie Haigh

As part of our Waste in Our World exploration, grade 4s have been tasked with taking something of little or no value and creating something usable that serves a purpose. The overarching question was “how does your creation give an item a better purpose?”  Throughout this challenge, students have planned their project by looking at examples of upcycling projects that currently exist and writing a proposal that outlines how they are going to answer the above question with their own creation.   Using persuasive writing, students have to convince the reader how they are giving the materials of choice a better purpose.  Understanding that items become “less” as they are recycled, students have focused on diverting waste from landfill and recycling facilities.

upcycle3After working on their project, students reflected on the following questions:upcycle2

  1.  Why is upcycling important to our community?
  2.   Is your project upcycling?  Provide proof that your project makes your  materials better.

Here is a sample of a student reflection:

I think up-cycling is important to the community because it gets people to be creative and imaginative. It also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. Also, up-cycling takes less energy than recycling, so it is AWESOME for the environment.

My project is up-cycling because I am taking old shelf brackets that my parents had no use for, and a skateboard deck that I don’t have wheels for, and making a shelf. By using up-cycling, I gave objects with no use a purpose, so they don’t get thrown out. Up-cycling is also good because you can make your own custom design so you will always like it.

-by Oliver N.

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