VPR In The Classroom: Universal Recycling

Apr 25, 2016

Listenwise helps teachers use stories from their local public radio station with students in their classrooms.

Working with VPR we identify relevant local news stories, design and develop classroom resources around them and make them available for free at VPR.net.

If you want to find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free account!

Story Synopsis

A new law in Vermont has created an opportunity. This law requires institutions to avoid sending lots of food waste to landfills.

Now, much of the food that would have been thrown away is being donated to hungry local residents instead.

In fact, food rescue was up 30 percent last year, while overall waste is down 56%. Volunteers check food items for quality and then re-box them before sending them off to people in need.

Listen to the story to hear more about how the Universal Recycling Law has increased food donations. 

Teaching Strategies for Using Listenwise in the Classroom

Use with Grades 6-10. Use the interactive transcript as an additional support for struggling readers or English Language Learners.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.2: Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.3: Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.

Listening Comprehension Questions        

  1. What is the connection between Vermont’s new law and food donation?
  2. Where does the donated food come from?
  3. What are the reasons that some high-quality food can’t be sold in grocery stores?
  4. In what ways do volunteers contribute to the process of food donation?

Discussion Themes:

Use these questions to get your students thinking at the beginning of class. Have them start writing their answers as they listen to the public radio story, and use these questions to have a rich discussion about the story.

  1. Why is it important to avoid sending food waste to landfills?
  2. In your opinion, what other laws would decrease hunger around the United States?

More Resources:

Current Event: Throwing Away Food

Current Event: Food Waste as Energy

Current Event: Reducing Food Waste

Current Event: Grocery Food Waste

Current Event: Recycling Food Waste

Literature Connections:

Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens