Inspired by the scrapping efforts of students during World War II, Get in the Scrap! is a national service-learning project for students in grades 4–8 all about recycling and energy conservation.
Through this program, your students will be empowered to positively impact the environment, just like students 80 years ago played a positive role on the Home Front in securing victory in World War II.
Get in the Scrap! offers a suite of activities for you and your students to choose from. These activities can be done with your class, an afterschool club, or any other student organization.
Registration is open on a rolling basis. After you register online, a National WWII Museum educator will reach out to confirm your registration details. Upon confirmation, we will mail out an Introduction Kit that includes a printed Classroom Guide, program prizes, and some Get in the Scrap! classroom décor. Participants are encouraged to register early to ensure there is ample time for the Introduction Kit to be mailed out!
Choose from the activities below to reach your 100-point goal. Some are quick, while others take a little longer. There’s something for everyone! Resources are organized by the number of points they’re worth.
5 Point Resources
- By analyzing a variety of primary sources, students will be able to understand World War II from a child’s perspective and demonstrate the background knowledge necessary to take part in Get in the Scrap!
8 Point Resources
- The government produced thousands of posters that encouraged people to join the Army and Navy, not waste food, volunteer their time, and help pay for the war by buying war bonds. Many posters encouraged people to get involved in scrapping efforts. These posters are known as propaganda posters and your students will design their own to decorate the classroom and school.
- Saving energy is as easy as flipping a switch! So why do so many of us leave the lights on when we’re not in a room? Let’s fix that problem by making eye-catching switch plates.
- Have students conduct a simple home energy audit using the form provided. This will get them focused on a variety of simple ways they can start conserving energy at home. You can also adapt this form to conduct a school audit.
- Learning how to communicate by writing a clear, concise, properly formatted letter can fulfill many curriculum needs. Why not combine your letter-writing lesson with this Get in the Scrap! activity?
- Many kids don’t feel like they can make a difference in helping the environment. A memory jar will give them the opportunity to record all they do and accomplish.
- Sometimes finding a recycling bin can be a real maze! This is a fun activity that encourages students to be more conscious of where recycling bins are located across their schools and communities.
- How much do your students already know about recycling and energy conservation? Test how your students’ knowledge about environmentalism grows throughout the Get in the Scrap! project by using this pre- and post-test.
- Create a Möbius strip — a three-dimensional object with only one side — to reinforce the concept at recycling.
- Whether you call them cootie catchers or fortune tellers, this paper origami activity can teach your students about recycling and energy conservation through fun and games.
- Let’s have some fun mixing recycling, energy conservation, parts of speech, and your students’ imaginations. The wackier the better—the stories come out funnier that way.
- Students will learn about the role of victory gardens in World War II and plant their own vegetable in a tin can that they’ll scrap themselves!
- Students can save loose change while saving the planet when they make individual water-bottle piggy banks. And why not make a big one for the classroom to save up for a well-earned treat?
12 Point Resources
- Another way to spread the word about local recycling resources is through creating brochures. Writing for a brochure will teach your students to compose text that is concise and impactful as well as experiment with different elements of design— photography, layout, fonts, colors, etc., to create a powerful message.
- There’s no better way to get in the habit of getting in the scrap than learning a little about recycling and energy conservation each day. Spend 50 days in your classroom revealing a new recycling fact. We’ll provide the first 25 facts, but then it’s up to your students to research and find their own. Perfect as a bell ringer activity.
- This Get in the Scrap! version of Jeopardy! turns learning the lessons of environmental stewardship into a fast-paced game and gives your students a chance to show off their newly acquired recycling knowledge.
- Does your town have curbside recycling or any type of recycling facility? Is there a local nonprofit whose mission involves recycling or energy conservation? Learn the ins and outs of all things environmentally friendly in your community by inviting a recycling representative to speak to your class.
- Men and women who were elementary or middle school aged during World War II are now in their 70s and 80s. Most have vivid memories of the war years and many are eager to share their experiences with students. Does one of your students have a family member who was a child on the Home Front? If so, why not invite him or her to speak to your class? Students will get a great chance to “see themselves in history” by hearing about life as a child in another age
- As a nod to the WWII steel penny, challenge your class to a penny war. This one-week competition will motivate students to fund-raise for a cause using the change in their pockets.
- Each student creates an individual recycling and energy conservation pledge. Don’t forget to take pictures with their pledges to give a personal reminder.
- Understand your environmental impact by keeping a detailed record of it. In this exercise, students record everything they throw away and everything they recycle over a seven-day period for class reflection.
- During World War II, there were plenty of popular songs written about the war, like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “You’re in the Army Now,” and “G.I. Jive.” Here’s your students’ chance to set their commitment to recycling and energy conservation to music.
- Americans use about 50 billion plastic water bottles each year! Only 23% are recycled. That means 38 billion water bottles are wasted each year. Let’s figure out different ways to reuse some of those bottles so they don’t end up in a landfill.
25 Point Resources
- Welcome to the exciting, hands-on world of WWII artifacts! Discover the history and lessons of World War II by exploring and analyzing unique service-era artifacts with your students in the classroom.
- Visit the Operation Footlocker web page to rent artifacts for this lesson plan. Virtual Footlockers will be available Spring 2024.
- The Get in the Scrap! Day allows your students to present the activities they’ve been working on in the classroom related to environmentalism. It provides them the opportunity to educate fellow students on the importance of conservation at school and home. Your class will inspire other students, faculty, and school administrators to be a little more green by Getting in the Scrap!
What prizes can my class earn?
As you complete lessons and activities, track your points using your classroom chart and stickers. Share your progress with us and distribute prizes as your class reaches each level!
- Level 1 (25 Points) Get in the Scrap! silicone bracelets
- Level 2 (50 Points) Get in the Scrap! garden grow stick
- Level 3 (75 Points) Get in the Scrap! wagon ink pen
- Level 4 (100 Points) Get in the Scrap! recycled lanyard
Who is this project for?
This project is specifically designed for upper elementary and middle school students, grades 4–8.
How much does this program cost?
There is no cost for your class or school to participate.