TITLE: Junk Mail Airmail AUTHOR: Darrell Spendlove, Lewiston Elem., UT GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: 3+; science, social studies OVERVIEW: Most homes receive large amounts of unsolicited and unwanted mail every year. This mail costs millions of dollars and wastes valuable natural resources. Much of this junk mail ends up as litter or in overfilled landfills. PURPOSE: Students need to learn that they can make a contribution to the junk mail problem. OBJECTIVES: Students will: 1. Collect a variety of junk mail. 2. Identify what resources are used to produce the mail. 3. Learn what happens to junk mail in their home. 4. Construct an airplane using junk mail and fly it in a Junk Mail Airplane contest. 5. Recycle junk mail. RESOURCES/MATERIALS: Large cardboard box, trash can, butcher paper, collection of junk mail ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: 1. Assign students to collect and bring to school all junk mail that is delivered to their homes in one week. Have them ask family members if they have any interest in the mail. Did they read it? Do they want to keep it? What would they normally do with that type of mail? 2. At the end of the week have a discussion on what they learned about what happens to the junk mail at their house. Also ask students to name as many resources as they can that were used to produce the mail and deliver it to their homes. List these on the board. 3. Have students make paper airplanes using the junk mail they have collected. They should experiment using different types of paper, sizes, and designs. Explain that using the junk mail to make something else (paper airplanes) is a form of recycling. Have students brainstorm other ways to recycle their junk mail. 4. Hold a paper airplane contest. Set up a trash can, a recycling box, and a strip of black butcher paper to represent a road ten or fifteen feet from a throw line. Students take turns throwing their airplanes. Award ten points for landing in the recycling box, two points for hitting the trash can, and ©5 points for landing on the road. Award certificates to winners and losers. Have a good time. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: Put all junk mail collected into the recycling box. Have students continue to bring in junk mail to recycle, recycle any other paper from your class, and encourage students to recycle at home. Students might also like to write letters to get their junk mail stopped.
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