StopWaste at School


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Creative Reuse Activities

Creative reuse activities are designed to follow on the heels of Waste Awareness Activities. They involve students in creating something out of discarded material that is useful, beautiful, and educational.

Each creative reuse activity is designed to be integrated into a teacher's ongoing curriculum, either as a science, math, music, art, or social studies lesson. The activities are written to include content on these areas of the curriculum as well as specific directions on how to make each item.

Creative Reuse Activity Curriculum Compatibility
Exploring and Making Kaleidoscopes Science, Art
Rain Sticks Social Studies, Music, Art
Whirlpool-in-a-Bottle Science
Shadow Puppets Language, Science, Social Studies, Art
Masks-on-a-Stick Social Studies, Art
Recycled Round Paper Science, Art, Math

Creative reuse activities are a way for students to demonstrate environmental responsibility; they are also an educational and artistic tool to be integrated into their everyday life.


Click for SampleClick for SampleExploring and Making Kaleidoscopes Students learn the basic science of a kaleidoscope. They explore waste reduction through creative reuse by making their own kaleidoscope using common discarded material.



pdfExploring and Making Kaleidoscopes195.83 KB 


Click for SampleClick for SampleRain Sticks After learning about the origins and significance of rain sticks, and investigating how a rain stick works, students make their own using common discarded material.



pdfRain Sticks154.84 KB 


Click for SampleClick for SampleWhirlpool-in-a-Bottle Students learn about vortices by constructing a device for creating and observing whirlpools inside discarded plastic bottles. The sight of funneling water, formed by the interplay of air currents and centripetal force, provides the opportunity for a guided discovery of this fascinating phenomenon. After making their own Whirlpool-in-a-Bottle, and observing vortices form inside, students expand their understanding of naturally occurring vortices such as whirlpools and tornadoes.


pdfWhirlpool in a Bottle255.38 KB


Click for SampleClick for SampleShadow Puppet Theater In this multi-session activity, students learn about shadow puppet theater and explore the science of shadow-making. They make their own shadow puppets using common discarded materials and produce a shadow puppet play with their hand-made puppets.


pdfShadow Puppets445.24 KB



Click for SampleClick for SampleMasks-on-a-Stick Students explore how masks have been used through time, and what uses they serve today. They learn how to reuse materials in the creation of their own fanciful masks. After conceptualizing what their masks will represent, students us templates to transfer the idea onto file-folders. They embellish the masks with discarded items such as bottle caps, tin foil, buttons and fabric scraps, and attach them to a stick of scrap wood so the masks can be held in front of their faces.


pdfMasks on a Stick150.61 KB


Click for SampleClick for SampleRecycled Round Paper Students learn about the origin of paper, how it has been made through the centuries, and how much its consumption has increased in recent years. They discover that paper contributes to almost 40% of landfill waste despite the fact that it is easy to recycle. Students make their own recycled paper using discarded paper scraps to create the pulp and large tin cans as molds to form the pieces.


pdfRecycled Round Paper264.27 KB