Extension activities

Suggested cross-curricular extension activities

Here we have suggested a variety of extension ideas linked into different curriculum subjects. The children can do them individually, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class activity.


  • Ask the children to investigate the types of materials that can be recycled (e.g. plastic, glass, paper) and how this takes place.
  • Give the children a range of different objects and ask them to sort them into groups according to what they're made from.
  • Ask the children to think about their favourite foods and where their ingredients come from.


  • Have children make their own lists in files on different items they recycle at home or at school.
  • Encourage the children to use the Nationwide Education site at home with their parents, reading the story aloud with them.
  • PSHE/PSE/Health & Wellbeing/PD&MU & Citizenship
  • Ask the children to set a simple goal - something they can do to either reduce, reuse or recycle. They should monitor their own progress in sticking to their goal.
  • Discuss some of the ways that people harm the local environment (e.g. throwing litter on the ground, cars producing pollution). How could these be reduced?


  • Ask pupils to write a new chapter for the WASTEWAY story, in which the family decide to have a 
  • recycling day.
  • Organise the pupils into groups and ask them to discuss one of the types of energy they use in their homes. When everyone has had a turn to speak, each child should show they have listened well, by repeating what someone else in the group has said.


  • Take the children on a trip to a local power station/recycling centre.
  • Ask pupils to think about ways that people in their local community could improve and sustain the environment.
  • Walk around the school and ask the children to make notes about ways the school is sustaining the environment (e.g. use of recycle bins, energy efficient light bulbs, etc).


  • Ask the children to investigate how people lived in the past, before today's sources of power were used (e.g. cooking on an open fire rather than a gas oven, using animals for transport rather than vehicles).


  • Ask the children to put all used paper in a bag for recycling. Each day, they should weigh the bag and write down the weight. At the end of the week, they should work out the total weight for the five days.
  • Ask the children to find out about the cost of energy at home by asking parents about monthly utility bills.


  • Discuss how we could recycle different materials to create a piece of art. Ask pupils to create an artwork using recycled materials. For example, this could be a collage using magazine cuttings, a sculpture made of used objects or mosaic made of milk bottle lids.
  • Ask the children to create an advertising poster to remind others to recycle, reduce and reuse.
  • Show the children how to make their own recycled paper using pulp from used paper.