Literacy Resource: Recycling and Food Waste

19 Sep

Welcome Back

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you had a great summer break.

This school year, I’m continuing to work closely with our RECIT team to support General Adult Education teachers across the English School Boards. My previous role focused on supporting teachers in the classroom with the integration of technology. In my new role, my focus is now helping teachers create digital student resources for our community.

Pictured above: The RECIT AGE team and our specific roles. To learn more visit

The RECIT digital student resources are done by our teachers, for our teachers. The resources will all be different, ranging from individual activities, through to full websites that provide a variety of materials around a specific subject.

When I started in my new role last year, I reached out to some of the teachers I was working with in the classroom, one of which was Hilda Smolash. Hilda is a Literacy teacher at the High School of Montreal in the English Montreal School Board. Over her career, Hilda has taught hundreds of learners, bringing her interactive communication style and lively instruction together to help her students succeed. 

The Idea

In talking with her students, Hilda discovered that many of them liked to cook in their spare time, in addition to the meals they often prepared at home. This led her to think about how to apply this to her instruction around the topics of recycling and food waste. At the same time, there had been a number of news stories about “Ugly Produce” and the hidden environmental cost associated with the quest for perfection in the fruits and vegetables that we buy at our Canadian grocery stores. Hilda found that this idea paired well with the Leisure and Personal Interests (ENG-B125-4) course and found a way to incorporate the concepts of over packaging and municipal recycling within the Accessing Services (ENG-B124-4) course. 

Learning in Stations

With this idea in mind, Hilda invited Joanne Salvagio (RECIT Regional Service) and I into her classroom. We collaborated together to develop and implement a CCBE Literacy Learning Situation. On the day we visited to document Hilda’s class, she had also invited Sumru Baser, another Literacy teacher at the High School of Montreal, and her learners to join. 

Pictured above: Students working together in stations.

From the beginning, we all agreed that the Learning Situation needed to be engaging and hands-on. One way for us to do this was to design it in stations. My colleague Tracy Rosen (RECIT Provincial Service) has assembled some great resources on Stations on our newly updated PD Mosaic website.  The materials she’s curated are drawn from Adult Ed classrooms across Quebec. 

Pictured above: Resources around Stations from our PD Mosaic website.

We decided to focus the Learning Situation around Environmental Awareness. Learners ask questions like “Where does our garbage go?”, and “What are the hidden environmental costs of fruits and vegetables we buy?”. The resource, which is packaged as a Google Site, provides you with an overview of how to prep and set-up your classroom (in stations!) and contains lots of photos and videos of the learners in action. We’ve also provided printable materials for each of the four individual stations so you can download them and adapt them for your own classroom needs.

Once the materials were created by our team, Emilie Bowles (RECIT Regional Service) and I worked closely together to assemble the Google Site resource, making the resources accessible to all teachers. The Google site resource is available at

Pictured above: A screenshot from our resource describing how to set up one of the stations. The Google Site resource is available at

While this Learning Situation works well in a traditional classroom setting, we’d also love to explore and document how this could be applied in an individualized, multi-level classroom. If you would be interested in working with us to do this, please reach out to the team

Exploring Modifications 

This is the first of many new resources that we’ll be sharing with you this year. If you have an idea for a resource in any subject across Adult Ed, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks to everyone that collaborated on the creation of this resource!

What’s next?

Stay tuned for the next featured resource, the Quebec Social Integration Network. If you’d like to learn more, you can join our SI webinar on September 26th from 3-4 pm at this link. We’ll be unveiling the new site and will be providing an opportunity for Social Integration Educators across the Province to connect and talk. SI teachers, consultants, directors, and support staff are all welcome. Hope to see you then!