Why are Batteries Harmful to the Environment?

Open this lesson by reading together about primary and secondary batteries (such as nickel-cadmium cells), problems they can cause in the environment, and how humans can minimize the damage. Afterward, little ones examine a collection of batteries and identify what type each one is. They list all of the battery-operated devices in the classroom and answer an array of true-false questions about safe handling of batteries. Instructions are provided for initiating a battery recycling program as well as for surveying students' homes for the number and types of batteries they use. 

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Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Simple worksheets are elementary-age-friendly
  • Raises awareness of the impact of battery use on the environment
  • A few statistics and questions are specific to Australia residents; this does not make the resource useless, but you may want to redesign worksheets to include more local statistics