Last Updated: Friday, April 29, 2022

Circular economy in the community - second

What is this?

This activity is designed to enable the children to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the circular economy by designing a new community based on the circular economy.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes: Second level


  • I can report and comment on current scientific news items to develop my knowledge and understanding of topical science. (SCN 2-20b)


  • I can analyse how lifestyles can impact on the environment and Earth’s resources and can make suggestions about how to live in a more sustainable way. (TCH 2 -06a)

Literacy and English

  • When I engage with others, I can respond in ways appropriate to my role, show that I value others’ contributions and use these to build on thinking. (LIT 2-02a)

Purpose of the activity

This activity will extend children’s knowledge and understanding of a circular economy and the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. It will also allow them to develop their creativity and literacy skills by designing a map or model to exemplify their thinking.

Learning activity

Staff may wish to use these websites prior to delivering this activity to gain more information about the circular economy and how we can ‘build back better’.

National Museums Scotland: Build back better

World Economic Forum: Opportunities for a circular economy post COVID-19

How We Make Stuff

Children should:

  • Generate a list of facilities that they and their families might use or see in their local community. This could be for example, leisure centres, bus stations/taxi ranks, recycling centres, sports clubs, allotments, housing, takeaways/restaurants, supermarkets etc.
  • Pick a few of these facilities and consider how they could adopt the principles of circular economy. You may find these websites helpful:

National Museums Scotland: Build back better

World Economic Forum: Opportunities for a circular economy post COVID-19

What changes would the facilities need to make? Are there any that already use circular economy principles?

  • Design a map or model of their community which includes their chosen facilities.

It should outline the key features of the facility that have been adopted to use circular economy principles. They should use any materials they have available to be as imaginative and creative as possible. They may wish to use digital technologies to create the map/model. This link may be useful:
ScribbleMaps: Create maps

  • Children should take a peer or a family member on a tour of their map or model explaining the reasons why they have included the various buildings and what makes them adapted for a circular economy. They should also be ready to answer any questions raised.

Extension activity

The children could evaluate each other’s contributions and work collaboratively. They should agree a list of essential features that facilities in their community should have, to adhere to the principles of the circular economy.  

National Benchmarks


  • Explores items of current scientific interest within the school, local community, nationally or in the global media and collates, organises and summarises findings, with assistance.
  • Shares opinions about a variety of topical scientific issues considering, for example, moral, ethical, societal, cultural, economic and environmental aspects.


  • Explains how and why it is important to conserve energy.

Literacy and English

  • Applies verbal and non-verbal techniques in oral presentations and interactions, for example, vocabulary, eye contact, body language, emphasis, pace and/or tone.

Possible approach to assessing learning

When planning your approach to assessing learning, please take account of the latest guidance on assessment approaches.

  • Children could peer assess each other’s work to ensure that it meets the brief.