Spatial Requirements: Regular classroom setup; little or no space required
Activity Type: Group
Grades: 3-12
Group Size: 4 or more
Time: 30 minutes

Introduction: Part of Resource Resilience is having the ability to be creative and resourceful even when the resources available to you may seem useless at first. This activity allows students to experience such resourcefulness firsthand – turning garbage into something beautiful or interesting.


  • A large quantity of “clean garbage,” collected by students and yourself (cleaned bottles, cartons, and cans, paper, string, etc.)
  • Tape


Over the course of a week or so prior to this activity, have students collect and bring in “clean garbage” and put it in a container you have in your classroom. You may want to offer extra credit for this.

Divide students into small groups and give each group an equal amount of “garbage” and some tape. Tell them that the objective of this activity is to use the resources they’ve been given to create a masterpiece. Give students plenty of time to talk over their visions and work on these masterpieces.

Display the works of art in the classroom and call it the “Resource Resilience Gallery.”

Processing the Experience:

  • How can creativity and “thinking outside the box” help increase our resources?
  • Is there anything in your life that might be a resource that you hadn’t considered before?
  • Are some resources more important than others to you?
  • Can you think of any resources that might be “useless” in one situation but valuable in another?
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