ALEX Learning Activity


How Can You Reduce Your Impact on the Environment?

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Casaundra Taylor
System:Huntsville City
School:Academy For Academics & Arts
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1807
How Can You Reduce Your Impact on the Environment?
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

Students will use what they have learned about recycling and reusing to complete this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) activity. Students will use recycled items to create something new.   

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: K
6 ) Identify and plan possible solutions (e.g., reducing, reusing, recycling) to lessen the human impact on the local environment.*

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E4.10: The supply of many Earth resources such as fuels, metals, fresh water, and farmland is limited. Humans have devised methods for extending the use of Earth resources through recycling, reuse, and renewal.

NAEP Statement::
E4.11: Humans depend on their natural and constructed environment. Humans change environments in ways that can either be beneficial or detrimental for themselves and other organisms.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify possible solutions to lesson the human impact on the local environment.
  • Plan possible solutions to lesson the human impact on the local environment.
  • Identify potential human impacts on the local environment.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Identify
  • Plan
  • Solution
  • Human impact
  • Local
  • Environment
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Causes
  • Create
  • Ask
  • Imagine
  • Improve
Students know:
  • Human impact can have both positive and negative impact on the environment.
  • We can create possible solutions to reduce the negative impacts on the environment.
Students are able to:
  • Identify possible solutions to lessen human impact on the environment.
  • Plan possible solutions to lessen human impact on the environment.
Students understand that:
  • Human impact has a positive and negative effect on the local environment.
  • There are solutions that can lessen the negative impacts on a local environment.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Plants and Animals
*Exploring Plants and Animals, STC

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.K.6- Classify human activities as harmful or helpful to the environment.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: K
Visual Arts
1) Engage in self-directed exploration and imaginative play with art materials.

a. Use motor skills to create two-dimensional art.

Examples: Finger painting, watercolors, paper collage, and rubbings.

b. Use motor skills to create three-dimensional art.

Examples: Rolling, folding, cutting, molding, pinching and pulling clay.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Investigate, Plan, Make
Essential Questions:
EU: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.
EQ: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Art
  • Artwork
  • Collaboratively
  • Collage
  • Cool colors
  • Warm colors
  • Elements of Art
    • Color
    • Line
    • Shape
  • Imaginative play
  • Play
  • Portfolio
  • Primary colors
  • Principles of design
    • Pattern
  • Printmaking
Skill Examples:
  • Create two-dimensional artworks using finger painting, watercolors, paper collage, and rubbings.
  • Create three-dimensional artworks using techniques such as rolling, folding, cutting, molding, pinching, and pulling clay.
  • Work with a partner to create works of art.
  • Working in small groups, use recycled materials to create artworks.
  • Explore the books Why is Blue Dog Blue? by G. Rodrigue and My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss to understand color meanings and moods.
  • Read the book Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman to explore different styles of line.
  • Safely use and share scissors, pencils, crayons, markers, glue, paints, paintbrushes, and clay.
  • Use symbols to help tell a personal or make-believe story.
  • Manipulate art media to create textures and patterns.
  • Identify and use organic and geometric shapes to create works of art.
  • Show respect for self and others while making and viewing art.
  • Use the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) to create a free-style painting while singing the names of the colors.
  • Use patterns in designing colored stripes on the shirt of a person you know.
  • Collect found objects such as paper tubes, forks, and pieces of cardboard. Press them in shallow tempera paint, and stamp them on paper to show printmaking.
  • Create a T-chart that separates cool (blue, green, and purple) and warm (red, yellow, and orange) colors in different columns. Use the symbols of water waves for the cool column header and the sun for the warm column header.
  • Work with a partner to find colors, lines, and shapes in art and tell each other what you see.
Learning Objectives:

Students will: 

  • identify possible solutions to lessen the human impact on the local environment.
  • identify potential human impacts on the local environment.
  • create a new object from recycled materials. 
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

If possible, take the students outside to pick up trash.

  1. Read The Lorax by Dr.Seuss. 
  2. Gather items that can be recycled, reused, and reduced. Also, bring three hula-hoops if you have them. You will also need the recycle, reuse, and reduce labels
  3. Use the labels to label each hoop or sorting area.
  4. Lead students in a sorting activity of the items (water bottles, paper towel rolls, tissue boxes, broken crayons, soda cans, used tissues, etc). After placing each item in the correct hoop, talk about how it can be recycled, reused, or reduced. 
  5. Discuss how recycling and reusing items make a positive impact on the environment.
  6. Ask students how they would feel if we did not recycle and there was trash everywhere.
  7. Students will use items in the reuse and recycle circles to create something new.
  8. Students should use their imagination to create something new. Example, they make take a tissue box and make a car or a robot. 
  9. Students will share with the class what they created.
Assessment Strategies:

Students will complete self-assessment rubric


Advanced Preparation:

Recycled materials- water bottles, cardboard, tissue boxes, paper towel rolls, applesauce pouch tops, broken crayons, buttons, straws, soda cans, newspapers, and egg cartons. Recycle, reuse, and reduce labels. 

The Lorax read aloud on

You will need three hula hoops or three circles to sort items into Reduce, Reuse, Recycle groups.

Labels for the three hula hoops


Variation Tips (optional):

Students can create an advertisement for their new product or item. Students can write (or video themselves) about how their creation reduces their human impact on the Earth.

BrainPOP Jr. video-



Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: