Create Your Own Poster

Before home televisions and the internet existed, people often encouraged others to recycle their old materials through posters. In the 1940’s the United States was fighting in the Second World War. During this time, the government created posters encouraging Americans to donate their old or unused materials to help support the war effort.

In this activity, you will get to look at these historical posters and create one of your own!

You Will Need:

A piece of paper

Craft Supplies (markers, crayons, paint, glitter, stickers, tissue paper, colorful tape, etc.)


Poster images courtesy of the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Select two of the World War II Era posters above that are calling Americans to donate their scrap materials to the war effort and answer the following questions:

What are some of the scrap materials the United States government needed for the war effort?

What are some of the colors on the poster?

What are some of the pictures on the poster?

Does your poster have a short slogan or a long description?

How are the words on your poster written? Are they big? Small? Bold? In all capitals?

Would this poster inspire you to donate your extra scrap materials?


Using your piece of paper and craft supplies, design your own poster encouraging people to reuse and recycle their old or extra scrap materials. You can use the World War II Era posters for inspiration, but your poster should be about recycling today. Before creating your poster, think about the following questions: 

What kinds of materials do people recycle today?

What are some reasons people recycle today?


After you have finished creating your poster, brainstorm answers to the following questions:

Where could you hang up your poster that would encourage others to recycle?

What are some other things that you could do in your home, school, or community to encourage others to recycle?