Teacher guide reSolve: What a Load of Rubbish

TLF ID M025304

In this series of three lessons, students conduct an audit of the rubbish they find in their playground. They use a range of categories to sort, display and interpret the data and make simple inferences. They then reclassify the rubbish collected as to whether it can be recycled, composted or if it needs to go into the bin. Finally, students audit the bins in different areas of the playground, compare the number of bins to the amount of rubbish and recyclable rubbish, and consider if the school rubbish bins are in the right place. Each lesson is outlined in detail including curriculum links, vocabulary, materials needed, sample answers, discussion points and student resources. This sequence is part of the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry program.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is very valuable for the year 2 mathematics content description about identifying a question of interest based on a categorical variable and gathering data relevant to the question. The sequence challenges students to determine their own categories for the rubbish in the playground that are relevant to questions about planning for rubbish collection and management in the school yard.
  • This resource is also extremely valuable for the year 2 mathematics content description about collecting, checking and classifying data. During the sequence, students conduct various audits of both rubbish and rubbish bins in their school, which involves collecting, checking and classifying data of different sorts.
  • This resource is also valuable for the year 2 mathematics content description about creating displays of data using lists, table and picture graphs and interpreting them. The sequence of learning gives students multiple contexts to create data displays, including making alist of rubbish, making picture and column graphs, and using their data displays to answer open-ended questions.
  • This resource also offers opportunities to link to the Numeracy General capability, as it engages students in asking and answering simple data questions and interpreting data in drawings and picture graphs.
  • The resource also offers some connections to the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability. Students consider how handling of rubbish impacts on a sustainable future and how they can enact planning in their school to minimise rubbish and the environmental impact of their school's rubbish.
  • This resource is also of pedagogical value as it supports teachers in building an inquiry-focused learning environment with authentic application of mathematical skills and understandings. The unit aims to develop content knowledge as well as assisting students to understand the process of inquiry.
Year level


Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Publisher
  • Name: Australian Academy of Science
  • Organization: Australian Academy of Science
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL: https://www.science.org.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
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Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Australian Government Department of Education and Training 2019. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.