Earth Day Fun! With Michael Recycle

Empowered Learner


Students have some Earth Day fun learning about recycling and sorting, while reviewing important Internet browser components and keyboard keys. The students will use the Michael Michael Recycle Game to learn these concepts. 

This activity will take several class periods. 

Students will:

  • Be able to open the game, Michael Michael Recycle.
  • Be able to use the scroll bar to reach the game.
  • Be able to use the arrow keys to move character through game.
  • Be able to sort objects based on attributes.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Open: To open a computer program it means it is ready to be used. 

  2. Scroll bar: A scroll bar is a vertical or horizontal bar commonly located on the far right or bottom of a window that allows you to move the window viewing area up, down, left, or right.

  3. Close: To close a computer program means it is no longer able to be used. 

  4. Full screen: Full screen is describing when something should take up the entire screen.

  5. Arrow keys, right/left/up/down: A computer keyboard has arrow keys that will move the cursor up, down, left, or right on the screen. 

  6. Cursor: The cursor is a movable symbol on a computer screen that shows the point where you can change a text or image.

  7. Reduce: Reduce means finding ways to decrease, or lessen, the amount of garbage we throw away.

  8. Reuse: To reuse is to use something again. 

  9. Recycle: To recycle is to convert garbage into reusable material.

  10. Sorting:  Sorting is the act of separating things and putting them in a particular order or group. For example paper, plastic, and cans are sorted for recycling.

To prepare for this lesson:

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Read the book to your students and/or watch the video Michael Recycle, by Ellie Bethel.
  2. Have a conversation with the students about how/what we can recycle at home and at school.

  3. Tell the students that today we are going to play a recycling game.

  4. Review how to access the game, browser window, scrollbars, etc.  Show them how to use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move up, down, right, and left.

  5. Demonstrate the game by showing the video Michael Michael Go Recycle

  6. Have the students play the game.

  7. Allow the students time to explore and play the game.  

Different options for assessing the students:

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Empowered Learner 
1d. Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:

Earth Day: The Official Website

Michael Recycle Book

Michael Recycle Game

Michael Recycle Rubric

Michael Recycle video

Sorting by Attribute

Starfall Earth Day


Using the keyboard, write  about what you could recycle on ABCYA! Storymaker.

What are some other things you could sort? 

Use the Interactive Starfall site on Earth Day with your students.   

This task card was created by Courtney Conley, Utica Community Schools, May 2018. Updated November 2023.