8 Amazing, Creative, Must-See Videos to Promote Recycling at School

Your green curriculum just got an upgrade.

It’s time to spice up the message of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Recycling, sustainability, and green habits are such important lessons for today’s classrooms, but these can be hard messages to tackle without coming across as preachy. So instead of trying to educate your students in the same old ways (because all teachers know how well they can tune you out), it’s time to use a different method …an approach that is already part of their daily lives.

Enter the power of video!

Video has always been one of the most engaging ways to educate kids, and it’s getting better and more captivating every day. Take a look at how these creative recycling videos can help get your students excited about recycling.

1. Because messages through dance are awesome …

Cedric Gardner is the teacher and creative brain behind this choreographed dance video to promote recycling in the classroom. Cedric and his dance group are based in Milwaukee, as part of the Davis Club Dancers at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. They loved creating a routine to put an emphasis on recycling plastic bottles.

If you recognize Cedric, it’s probably because you’ve seen him on TV in an Old Navy commercial, on Jimmy Kimmel, and on the TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. We recommend using this video to create your own recycling game in the classroom or in P.E. class. Recycle basketball anyone? Toss bottles into bins during the duration of this video to see which team can get the most!


2. Because this recycling song is amazing…

Have you seen Dwayne Reed’s viral video, Welcome to the 4th Grade? It went viral last year, and since then he’s been featured on Good Morning America, MTV’s Total Request Live, and even recently on WeAreTeachers as a first-year teacher. Dwayne is a fifth grade teacher in Chicago, and he’s known for his engaged teaching style, social media presence, and amazing music videos, which he writes and performs himself.

He wrote this song completely from scratch to promote recycling and PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally program. We love it. Try using it to encourage your students to write their own song or poem about recycling.


3. Because this answers so many questions …

We know it’s important to recycle bottles, but why? This video answers this question in a way that your students will understand (and find completely fascinating)! Show this to your students, and they will definitely learn new things about the recycling process!


4. Because this recycling bin will make classroom recycling more fun …

This might look like an arts and craft project, but it can be so much more! Have your students utilize their engineering skills to invent, measure, and create a recycling critter out of a cardboard box. You’ll have really cool bins as a result. Plus, they are definitely utilizing their engineering skills along the way.


5. Because this would make an amazing reading reward …

Here’s another great way to upcycle a plastic bottle. Have your older students create these for kids in younger grades as a way to incentive their classroom reading program. Or make them to donate to your local library or community center.


6. Because this kid will start some important conversations …

Sometimes students just learn better from other students. Ryan Hickman is 8 and lives in California. Last year he went viral because of his passion for recycling. Since the age of 3, he’s recycled more than 270,000 bottles and cans, and regularly collects items from the beach on the weekends. Ryan is a great example that anyone and everyone can truly make a difference.

Check out Ryan’s website, and watch some of the videos of him right here. (You can also follow his efforts on his Facebook page.) Then encourage your students to be more like Ryan by journaling or setting goals for being more sustainable.


7. Because this video is perfect for the youngest of learners …

When it comes to young kids, showing (versus telling) really is the best way to learn. Blippi definitely targets little kids, but there’s such a good lesson here about the fundamentals of recycling. It would work great for kids in K3 to 2nd grade.


8. Because this quiz will make your students WANT to take a test …

This quiz has videos and GIFs, making it a fun, interactive experience for students. Can it be recycled? That’s what your students will have to find out. After your sustainability or recycling unit in the classroom, put them to the test with the quiz.

8 Amazing, Creative, Must-See Videos to Promote Recycling at School

Posted by Stacy Tornio

Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. So she decided to be rebellious and write about teachers instead.

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