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The 5Rs and scram!

This is a level 2 and 3 mathematics in science contexts activity from the Figure It Out series. A PDF of the student activity is included.

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  • AudienceKaiako
  • Resource LanguageEnglish
  • SeriesFigure It Out

About this resource

Figure It Out is a series of 80 books published between 1999 and 2009 to support teaching and learning in New Zealand classrooms.

This resource provides the teachers’ notes and answers for one activity from the Figure It Out series. A printable PDF of the student activity can be downloaded from the materials that come with this resource.

Specific learning outcomes:

  • Using language that relates to environmental resources.

The 5Rs and scram!

Required materials

  • Figure It Out, Levels 2+3+, Sustainability, "The 5Rs and scram!", pages 1–3
  • game words, word meanings, judge's sheet, word and meanings sheet (see Scram CM)
  • coloured sticky notes
  • 30 5Rs cards (see The 5Rs CM)
  • classmates

See Materials that come with this resource to download:

  • Scram activity (.pdf)
  • Scram CM (.pdf)
  • The 5Rs activity (.pdf)
  • The 5Rs CM (.pdf)



Game (The 5Rs)

A card game that introduces ways of recycling household items or reducing our use of resources.

Game (Scram!)

A game that helps you understand words about the environment and resources.


Word Meaning
water A liquid that animals and plants need to live.
resources Materials or energy from the environment that are used to meet human needs or wants.
air What we need in order to breathe.
renewable Can be replaced by growing, making, or collecting more.
environment The world we live in.
recharge Replace used-up power.
reduce Cut down on the amount of rubbish we produce.
repair Replace or mend a faulty part.
reuse Use more than once.
biodegradeable Decomposes or breaks down.
non-renewable Can’t be replaced after it has been used.
waste Any material that is discarded.
recycle Use waste materials to make new products.
conservation Protecting the environment and natural resources.
inorganic Not part of the animal or vegetable kingdom.


a. Examples will vary. Here are some possibilities:

Word Situation or example
water In some parts of the world, there is not enough clean water for drinking.
resources The air we breathe, the oil we extract for fuel, and the food we grow to eat are all resources because we use them to meet our needs and wants.
air Air contains the oxygen that we need to live.
renewable Grass is renewable because it grows back when eaten by animals.
environment Our house, our school, the roads we travel on, and the fields we play sports in are all part of our environment.
recharge Some batteries can be recharged so that they can be used again.
reduce We can reduce the amount of food waste we produce by putting compostable material into a compost bin or heap.
repair Things such as clothes, shoes, and electronic equipment can often be repaired so that they are “as good as new”.
reuse We can reuse a water bottle by filling it again from the tap.
biodegradeable Apple cores and banana peels will rot and decompose because they are biodegradable.
non-renewable Oil is a non-renewable resource because once it is used, it cannot be replaced.
waste Anything we put into the rubbish bin is waste.
recycle Melting glass bottles to make new bottles is recycling.
conservation Catch-and-release fishing is a form of conservation.
inorganic Water and rocks are inorganic because they are not alive.

b. Practical activity.

c. Examples of extra words are: sustainable, natural, packaging, energy, solar, exploit, consume, soil.

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