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Teaching News is Elementary


Program Content for April 25, 2014


Each week, this lesson will share some classroom activity ideas that use the newspaper or other NIE resources.  You are encouraged to modify this lesson to fit the needs of your students.  For example, some classrooms may be able to use this as a worksheet and others might need to ask and answer the questions in a class discussion. 

Please be sure to preview all NIE content before using it in your classroom to ensure it is appropriate for all of your students.

Materials you will need for this lesson: The Seattle Times e-Edition

Article: Recycling 101: Help Keep the Evergreen State Green: Be a Star Recycler!

Page: Main A18

Date: Sunday, April 20, 2014


Pre- Reading Discussion Questions: 


Look at the title and photographs on page A18. Before reading the article, what does it mean to you to keep the evergreen state green and to be a star recycler? How did you celebrate Earth Day on April 22?




Read the following quotes and determine the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in the sentence:


In 25 years, the City of Seattle alone recycled 15,000 tons of aluminum,

enough to produce one billion aluminum cans which, if laid end-to-end, would encircle the earth THREE times! ”


(to form a circle around (someone or something))


 Republic Services helped pioneer recycling in the Pacific Northwest more than 25 years ago with its state-of-the-art recycling facility located in Seattle.


(pioneer: to help create or develop (new ideas, methods, etc.) : to be a pioneer in the development of (something))

(facility: something (such as a building or large piece of equipment) that is built for a specific purpose)


The 1.2 million tons of paper that have been recycled are the equivalent of

240 billion sheets of office paper. If laid end-to-end, these sheets would

run from the Moon to the Earth and back EIGHT times!


(equivalent: something that has the same value, use, meaning, etc., as another thing)


Journal Writing Prompts: 


 “Earth Day is officially April 22, but you can help make every day Earth Day when you reduce waste and recycle more. There are many benefits to recycling, such as:


• Preventing pollution

• Saving energy

• Preserving the environment

• Reducing the size of our landfills

• Saving money

• Saving natural resources like water and trees”


Which of the above to you think is the greatest benefit to recycling? Have you witnessed any of the above changes taking place in your community or read about them in the news? What changes took place?


Discussion Questions:


Review the excerpt and discuss the following questions:


“The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Twenty years later, Earth Day became an international day of awareness to help draw attention to the importance of protecting our planet.”


How do you think the celebration of Earth Day has changed over the years? What do people do now to celebrate and protect the Earth that they may not have done 20 years ago? Why do you think that change has occurred?


Small group discussion and activity: 


“Check with your parents and teachers to see which Earth Day activities

are happening in your community. Remember: every day can be Earth

Day when you reduce waste and recycle more.”


Which of the activities from the provided list did you engage in for Earth Day? Regardless of what you did, choose an activity to partake in with family or friends. After the activity, write about your experience and how you felt celebrating the Earth in this way. Share your writing with the class.



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Copyright © 2013 The Seattle Times Company
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