A Garbage WebQuest: Teaching the 3R’s to Students


Gather students together and share with them Recycle by Gail Gibbons. Point out that the book deals with all of the ‘Three R’s’ – Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle. Another book that could be introduced at this time is Garbage Collectors by Paulette Bourgeois and Kim LaFave.

After discussing the content of the book pose the questions: What are we going to do to help cut down on garbage? How are we going to inspire our fellow students to help us? Who is a Community Helper working in this environment?

The Task

You will create a poster, or a rap, or an acrostic poem to demonstrate what your fellow classmates can do to help with the issue of garbage.

You will use the terms Recycle, Reuse, Reduce and explain how everyone can help to achieve these ideas. They must be included in the presentation you choose.

Individually you will make a picture of the community helper that is responsible for helping with our garbage and tell something about that helper.

You will be assigned computer time in order to investigate this Garbage WebQuest.

The Process

You will work in partners or small groups

Choose the form your presentation will take. For instance if you decide to do an acrostic poem you could use the word R-E-C-Y-C-L-E and use each of the letters as the beginning of each line. Line one could be R – recycle, reuse, reduce raises reactions. A poster would need to contain illustrations and good suggestions about the reduction of garbage. A rap will need a catchy beat to encourage your fellow classmates.

Questions to consider:

How can we stop plastic bags clogging up our landfills?

What items can we recycle in school? At home?

What are the ‘Three R’s’? What does each one mean?

Use these resources:

Things you can do to help

The Rotten Truth About Garbage

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

After you have completed your group project you will create your Community Helper portion.

Garbage Collector


Invite each group to present their creations to the class.

Teacher Evaluation:

Did the students follow directions?

Did the students cooperate with one other?

Did the students use the resources wisely?

Did the students complete their poem, rap, or poster and did include all of the elements?

Was the oral presentation well organized?

Did the written presentation contain correct spelling and grammar?

Arrange for the students to present to another class. Initiate a Question/Answer period. This will afford you ample opportunity to observe how much the students have understood the problems with garbage and how much they have learned about the solutions.

Student Self Evaluation:

Did I follow directions?

Did I do my best?

Did I cooperate with my partner or group?

Did I take my turn?



This Garbage WebQuest would make a good basis for an Earth Day Assembly.

The issue with garbage is everyone’s problem, and, if we can encourage our students to spread the word about the "Three R’s" , we will be on our way to helping our environment. To quote Gail Gibbons from her book Recycle : "If more and more people learn to recycle, there will be less garbage and our planet will be a safer and healthier place to live. Recycling can become a habit that is fun and easy."