Lesson Plan: The Story of Electronics

Students write a phone’s biography and explore concepts like “designed for the dump.”

Author: Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally has partnered with EcoRise to bring you comprehensive, hands-on lessons focused on waste and recycling for grades K-12. This waste lesson follows the story of electronics, particularly a mobile phone. Access the free lesson plan by clicking on the link below!




Lesson 6.2: The Story of Electronics


In this lesson written for grades 9-10, students explore electronics waste (e-waste) from a personal perspective. They personify a mobile phone and write its biography: exploring its birth, relatives, life cycle, and eventual end. Along the way, they explore the concept of planned obsolescence and the idea of “designed for the dump,” as well as NIMBY attitudes. Students also have access to numerous Extend ideas that will get them thinking about exciting innovations and new, more sustainable ways of thinking about electronics.


Estimated time needed: Two 55-minute sessions


All lessons are mapped to CCSS, NGSS, EFS, and TEKS standards.




Students will be able to…

  • Explore why electronics are such a vital part of our society.
  • Consider how “designed for the dump” thinking is harming our society.
  • Describe issues related to e-waste processing in developing countries.
  • Explore options for reducing e-waste.


How to Access the Free Lesson Plan


  • Click the link “Get Lesson Plan” below.
  • Select “I am a new user,” then enter your email address in the Username field.
  • Enter your full name and then check the “I agree” box.
  • Click on “Enroll in Course.”
  • Check your email for a link to set your password.

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