Browse the lesson plans below to find different ways to educate your students on recycling, composting, reducing, and reusing and why these are important practices in our daily lives. All lesson plans indicate what age groups they are appropriate for and include Minnesota teaching standards. 

Recycling Lesson Plans

Recycle Right to Save Resources (PDF)
This lesson plan allows for creativity while learning about recycling! Students will design a poster aimed at encouraging other students to recycle. Students will develop research and presentation skills by researching their own recycling topic and presenting it to others.
Grades: 3-5

Breaking the Paper Chain (PDF)
In this lesson plan, students will evaluate how they use paper products on a daily basis and recognize why reduction is critical and better for the environment.
Grades: 4-5 

Waste Reduction Lesson Plans

Needs and Wants (PDF)This lesson plan focuses on creating awareness of what defines a "need" and a "want". Students will learn to recognize that responsible consumer choices can result in reduced waste and environmental impact.
Grades: 4-5

Composting Lesson Plans

Worms at Work (PDF)
In this lesson plan, students will create a compost bin using worms and food scraps and monitor the changes in the bin over time. Students will understand that there are benefits to composting rather than throwing our waste in the garbage.
Grades: 3-5

Household Hazardous Waste Lesson Plans

Hazardous Products (PDF)
This lesson plan teaches students how to identify household hazardous products and to learn where they can be found around the home. 
Grades: 4-5

Read the Label (PDF)
This lesson plan explores the different signal words found on many household product labels. Students will learn the definition of these words, how to list the four signal words in order from most hazardous to least hazardous, and to determine the level of hazard of two products by using the signal words found on the labels.
Grades: 4-5

Natural Resources Lesson Plans

Planting a Tree (PDF)
In this lesson plan, students will research native trees and plants where they live, and the significance of those plants to the habitat. Students will then participate in a service project planting trees in their community to gain an understanding of stewardship.
Grades: 1-3

Oh Deer (PDF)
Students will become different components of any ecosystem and learn about habitat interactions in this lesson plan. By graphing the results of this game, students can discuss the topics in population dynamics, limiting factors, and carrying capacity.
Grades: 4-5

Earth's Land as an Apple (PDF)
This lesson plan uses an apple to demonstrate how precious habitable land and natural resources are on our earth, and the importance of conserving it as a limited resource.
Grades: 4-6

Earth Day Lesson Plans

Reading List 5-8 (PDF)
This list includes short descriptions of the most popular of youth chapter books while also including a complete list of suggested reading in honor of Mother Earth.

Looking for more resources? Visit the Earth Day webpage for more information and ways to get involved.

Contact Us

City Education Department
13713 Frontier Court
Burnsville, MN 55337-3817
Phone: 952-895-4559

Dakota Valley Recycling

DVR is the partnership recycling department for the Cities of Apple Valley, BurnsvilleEagan and Lakeville that connects residents and businesses to recycling, composting and waste disposal information.

DVR is not a drop off facility and does not accept any materials for recycling.