Last week, the children were introduced to a sorting activity having to do with recyclable items (which you can read more about here). Over the weekend, I remembered another lesson I had last year having to do with the same subject. While I try not to have the children in my class do too much "paperwork" or worksheets, I do feel that some children really enjoy these learning opportunities. Also, the kids in my class are very much enjoying the sorting lesson and I thought the following activity would be a natural extension. The best part is that I already had the papers stored away from last year and only had to make a few extra copies before showing them the lesson at circle time. Afterwards, I set up the materials at a table as an individual lesson which the children can complete during our Montessori work sessions.
Recycling Cut and Paste Activity.
To do the work, the child cuts on the line, determines whether or not the item in the picture can be recycled, and glues it under the appropriate heading. I demonstrated the activity in its entirety at circle time and the children loved it! In fact, they all had the chance to practice their Grace and Courtesy because each child had to be patient and find something else to work on until the person before them was finished with this work! It was a joy to watch the children's concentration as they cut on the lines and determined where the picture should be placed. Some of them engaged in pleasant conversation with those around them, "This is a cardboard box. Can it be recycled?" "Yes!" "Hey, what's this banana doing here? I can't recycle a banana!"
The crowning moment came after lunch: One child finished his fruit cup (the kind that comes in a plastic container...) and stood up to throw it in the trash can. He got to the trash can, stopped right still, and declared, "I can recycle this!" He proceeded to rinse out the cup and place it in the box with the other items from our first sorting lesson. Now that is what it is all about!