Earth Day Recycling Project-Writing a Procedural How-To Text

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This Repurposing/Recycling Project is a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day. However, I have included more than one version of the documents so that you could have your students create this project at any time of the year. This assignment could be completed in school, but I sent it home and gave students two weeks to work on it. You may choose to do this any way that suits you and your students.

Students will take an item that they would normally throw away and repurpose it to be a new, useful item. In my classroom, we used a gallon water jug. Throughout this explanation, I will use the water jug as my example. Please know that this project is adaptable for any recyclable item you choose to have your students use. You could even have students choose their own item. This resource is created in a way that leaves room for choice and creativity. And of course, some writing!

I don’t know about you, but I go through gallons of water jugs! I began to collect these because we did not have a plastic recycling system. For this project, I gave each of my students a jug. As a class, we created this assignment. I displayed the large quantity of gallon jugs for my students and explained how horribly I felt just throwing them away or even just recycling them! It seemed as though they could have another purpose in their life!

As a class we brainstormed a list. I included some of the ideas on the assignment sheet to help students choose a project. Prepare to be amazed at what your students will produce!

Students begin the project by sketching a picture and listing all of the materials they will need to complete the project. Once they have made their project, students will list out the directions, and complete a written procedural text explaining How-To make their new and improved product. There are three ways, you might have your students complete the writing project.

How-To Book 
How-To Article/Report
Newspaper Ad for the Product

I hope you and your students enjoy this project as much as we did! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 
Happy Recycling! 
- Jessica

What this product includes:

{Numbers 1-4 are the same idea but 4 different versions}

Earth Day Project Assignment Sheet-this sheet contains the student directions and planning sheet.

Recycling Project Assignment Sheet - (in case you are not doing this for Earth Day, simply for a recycling project)same as #1

Earth Day Project Assignment Sheet for Any Item - same as above, but to use with any item rather than a gallon jug.

Recycling Project Assignment Sheet - (in case you are not doing this for Earth Day, simply for a recycling project)same as #1 AND can also be used with any item, not just a gallon jug

Checklist & Rubric - a half-size sheet to help your students be sure they have all the parts of the project. This also serves as a grading tool to make your life easier! 

Recycling Project Writing Planner - Students will answer questions to help them think through the writing portion of the project. 

How To Make…{Article Version} - Final page for students to turn in. This is formatted like a How To article. This is 2 pages, to be copied front and back.

How To Make..{Book Version} Cover Page - Students can create a How-To Book with illustrations of the steps. These pages can be stapled between construction paper with the first page glued on the front cover. 

How to Make…{Book Version} Introduction- Students illustrate what the end product will look like and write an Introduction for the project. 

How to Make…{Book Version} Graphic Organizer to create Step by Step Directions with Pictures

How to Make…{Book Version} Writing Pages-these can be used for the writing portion and come in several designs. 

Newspaper Ad for the Product- This can be used as a writing extension in which students write an ad for their new and improved project. This comes in two designs so your students can make their own title if they wish.

Again, you have options for how you use the pages!