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6. Extension activity: Saving paper (the “three Rs”: reduce, reuse and recycle)

Objective
To raise awareness of paper waste among students and the school by launching a paper-saving campaign. To identify strategies. To engage with a situation and promote positive individual or group actions in classroom and/or on a school-wide basis.

Materials
• White paper
• Bristol board
• Construction paper
• Computer with Internet access
• Annex 6: Lyrics to Plant a Tree by Rik Palieri Annex 6: Lyrics to Plant a Tree by Rik Palieri
Instructions
6.1 Start a paper-saving campaign
Launch a paper-saving campaign by creating posters that invite the class and the whole school to get involved. Have students sketch their ideas on small pieces of paper (30 minutes), then make the final posters on Bristol board (90 minutes). This can be an individual or group project.

6.2 Identify paper-saving strategies
Identify strategies appropriate to the students and suggest others to the school team. Ideas that can be promoted through the poster campaign include the following: using both sides of a sheet of paper; putting paper that’s been used on one side into a box to keep a supply of reusable paper on hand; reusing paper off-cuts when you cut things out. Ideas applicable to school staff include using the Virtual Office to reduce printouts, making only the required number of photocopies, and so on.

You might find ideas on the following site:
Environment Canada — Waste — Precious paper
Sample poster

6.3 The tree of positive action
Evaluate students’ participation throughout the campaign. Each time a student carries out a concrete action to save paper, a leaf bearing their name will be affixed to a ‘tree trunk’ in the classroom (note: the tree should be movable). The students will have made the tree and leaves at the start of the campaign (the leaves can be cut from construction paper). Each month, the colours of the leaves can change. The leaves can also be realistic or whimsical (i.e. invented shapes and colours).

6.4 An assembly to point up the students’ efforts
Take stock of the situation at the start of each week (10 minutes). When the campaign is over, underscore the efforts of all those involved, both in the classroom and at a school assembly. Move the trees made by each class to the assembly room (see 8.3 and 8.4) to create a ‘forest.’ Present the students’ posters. End the assembly by singing Rik Palieri song Plant a Tree (30 minutes).

Annex 6: Lyrics to Plant a Tree by Rik Palieri Annex 6: Lyrics to Plant a Tree by Rik Palieri

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