'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
what is Global Learning? CoreKnowledge Key Skills Values and Attitudes what is sustainability? what about climate change?
what about climate change?

What is the Waste and Recycling Tepee?

This Waste and Recycling Story Tepee is a variation on our StoryTents which have been developed for use in primary schools to support the development of oracy and the teaching of global citizenship. The Waste and Recycling tepee was developed as part of a project to support young people's learning about waste and recycling.
Our tepee is approximately 2 metres high and 1.6 metres in diameter.


Why did we make a Waste and Recycling Tepee?

The Tepee was made a as part of a project to help young people learn
about more about waste and recycling. Schools in Tower Hamlets in East London can borrow the tepee. It comes with a teacher's pack with suggested activities and a box of books about waste and recycling.

What is the tepee made from?

This tepee has been constructed from re-used and sustainable materials. The frame of the tepee is constructed from bamboo rods that are often used in gardens to support plants. Fast-growing bamboos are ideal materials for low-cost, low-impact, earthquake-resistant houses. This renewable resource provides materials and employment and unites science and art, rich and poor, high tech and low tech, city and country. The bamboo rods were both strong and light, which was important, as our tepee needed to be easy to move around and set up

The covering of the tepee is made from reused materials collected from the Children's Scrap Project. The Children's Scrap project collects waste resources and remaindered materials from industrial manufacturing (that otherwise would be thrown away and end up in landfill sites) and stores them in a warehouse. Members of the Children's Scrap Project can visit the warehouse and use the materials and resources for art or craft activities.

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another teepee
The covering of the tepee was decorated by Year two pupils from Mayflower Primary school in Tower Hamlets. The tepee is decorated with images of trees and people. This combination of images represents the need for a more symbiotic and sustainable relationship between humans and the natural environment. The materials used for decorating the tepee were also collected from the Children's Scrap Project.


What can you do in the tepee?

The intimate space of a tent tepee is an excellent environment for speaking and listening activities. The space is ideal for group and pair work (accommodating a maximum of four children); it can act as an additional 'room' inside the classroom where oracy work can be carried out away from any distractions there might be in the rest of room. The tepee can also be displayed so that it is visible to the whole class and be used as a stimulus for whole class discussion activities.

The tepee is designed to fit on the carpet area or in a corner of the classroom. It can be quickly and easily put up and put away and does not take up much space when stored. The Waste and Recycling tepee is part of the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services loan collection, it can be borrowed by schools in Tower Hamlets for a term at a time.

Learn how to make your own miniature waste and recycling tepee.
You can create your own miniature version of our recycled tepee by reusing some old fabric (such as an old tea towel or an old tee shirt that you have grown out of).

Read the instructions below to find out how to make a mini tepee.

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Making a mini teepee

What you need

  1. Masking tape
  2. 8 sticks measuring 60 cm
  3. 1 piece of fabric measuring 50cm x 100cm masking tape
  4. Needle and thread
  5. Compasses or piece of string measuring 50cm
  6. Scissors
  7. Extra fabric for making tubes for sticks

How to make the teepee

  • Fold the rectangular piece of fabric in half.
  • Using a pair of compasses stretched out to 50cm (or the piece of string) mark out an arc from the folded edge corner of the fabric.
  • Carefully cut around the curved line so that when you unfold the fabric you will have made a semicircle from the rectangle.
  • Fold the semicircle into half, then quarters, then eighths.
  • Make a pencil mark at the bottom edge of each folded edge and also at the top of the centre fold.
  • Unfold the material into a flat semicircle and place each stick with the bottom end on a pencil mark and the top end on the centre fold mark (the sticks will overlap at the top).
  • Temporarily attach the sticks in place using masking tape.
  • The tepee will now stand up.
  • You can make loops, tubes or ties to keep the sticks in place permanently.
  • You can now decorate the tepee and also make ties for the door flap.

Additional activity:
Read a story about recycling and looking after the environment written by pupils from Year Four at Harbinger Primary School and illustrated with recycled paper collage 'The Walk Home'.

Tepees on the internet


Click on tipi pattern drawings
Scroll down to bottom of page and
Click on Tipi construction for photos of real one being erected.
Click on Toy tipi covers for pictures of toy teepees – numerous, colourful and interesting.
Click on European, Russian or Asian for pictures of tepees around the world.
Click on linings for some interiors (with string)

-history and good photos including interiors.

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