Teaching Partnerships

Looking to have RCSW’s education specialist at your school? How about creating a Teaching Partnership that allow for visits from RCSW to your school? Visits can be scheduled 2 or 3 times a year. Visits can also be structured more frequently depending on your schools grade level needs.

A sample curriculum follows:

1st grade: The students learn about composting through RCSW’s compost facility’s operations and an interactive play on words: the students create their own compost through the guidance of RCSW’s representative and the book: Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals, 2010 (Dragonfly Books).

1st grade: learn about reduce, reuse, and recycle through the Earth Ninja by Mary Nhin (2019, Grow Grit Press). Students get to make the book come alive through participation that relates to the book’s concepts on reduce, reuse, and recycle and Ninja play (of course).


2nd grade: Dinosaurs Protecting Our Planet: Students learn about reduce, reuse, and recycle through group game play. Students must be divided into about 5 discussion groups prior to the arrival of the education specialist.

Students are introduced to natural resources; how to reduce by using less; creating new uses for things that have been used – like egg cartons, paper towel tubes, and plastic water bottles; and how to recycle everyday items the “dinosaur way.”

Students will have the opportunity to repurpose an everyday household item, such as turning a toilet paper roll into a bird feeder, a seed starter, or a windsock.

(This program is easily adaptable to third graders – program becomes more challenging and encourages repurposing everyday items that the students bring to class)

2nd grade: What is recyclable? What isn’t? Students are introduced to every day household items that can be recycled as well as things that are often thought to be recyclable but are destined for the trash. The class ends with each student creating a Leapin’ for Recycling board game that will help instill the day’s lessons.


3rd grade: Let’s learn all about plastics! Witness physical change as a thermoplastic material shrinks right in front of your eyes or repurpose a plastic water bottle into a terrarium… or something else! This activity gives new purpose to used plastics.

Overall, this lesson reviews different kinds of plastics and discusses the pros and cons of different plastics. We talk about limited natural resources and what science is doing today to create plastic out of natural resources.

If plastics isn’t your bag, we can work with paper bags and preform a little upcycling at the end of the discussion that covers the importance and role of trees within a sustainable community.

3rd grade: (this lesson can be easily adapted to 2nd grade students): Lessons from the Lorax RCSW’s educational specialist discusses Dr. Seuss’s 1971, Random House story about the Lorax who speaks for the trees as the ecosystem of the Truffula Trees is destroyed by the Once-ler who brings about environmental destruction for a silly invention that everyone thinks they need.

The environmental lessons within the story are presented visually through modern day examples related to the story. Natural resources, climate change and greenhouse gases such as water vapor; carbon dioxide and methane are introduced to the students. This discussion weaves into the presentation vanishing species; the importance of reduce, reuse, and recycle; and more. Students are asked to demonstrate what they believe the world would look like with certain properties missing in their environment.


4th grade: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – What is recyclable? How does recycling work? What can really be made from recyclable items? All of these questions will be addressed during this program. At the end of the discussion, students will have the opportunity to create art out of recyclables they bring into the class. Students will collaborate with other students in their designs.

4th grade: Recycle Me Bingo! A discussion first reviews facts about recycling and litter. The students are quizzed on their knowledge through a jeopardy like format. Then the students are further challenged with a truth in facts concept through game play.  Students learn about Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle; Natural Resources; the Greenhouse Effect/Climate Change; Landfills; and Litter and Trash.