It is never too early for children to learn to care for the Earth and about environmentally friendly activities such as recycling. Recycling is the process where recyclable materials like paper, plastic, glass, metal, are reconstituted into new products or materials. Preschool teachers and day-care providers can present a simple recycling lesson plan which will introduce children to the importance of recycling the land’s valuable resources through an activity that enhances cognitive development.
What is Cognitive Development?
Cognitive development focuses on developing functions of the brain such as thinking, learning, awareness, judgment, and processing information. According to developmental psychologist Piaget, children go through several stages of cognitive development and learning activities for toddlers and children should correspond to the appropriate developmental. From ages of 2-7, children are in the Pre-Operational Stage. At this point they are learning to use symbols such as language to represent objects, and beginning to understand the concept of conservation. It is also the phase in which memory and imagination is developed. This lesson plan includes the preparation instructions, procedure, and materials list for this activity along with age appropriate learning objectives and a sample of the simple supporting verbal cues necessary to encourage participation and support learning.
Recycling Lesson Materials
• Four large cardboard boxes for sorting
• Four pictures representing metal, paper, plastic, and glass objects • Recyclable paper, plastic, metal and glass items
• Letter to parents
Recycling Lesson Preparation
A week or two before the activity, send a note home with parents describing the activity and asking them to collect metal, paper, plastic, and glass items to send to school with their preschooler. Be sure to include recyclable item suggestions and remind the parents to wash or rinse...
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