A new composting lesson

Composting-with-EnrichLA

What is Composting?

Materials/Preparation:

Grades:

CA curriculum standards:

  1. Objectives: Students will understand that composting works in a cycle and that ordinary food scraps and waste can be composted. The finished product is compost and can be used as a natural fertilizer to help plants grow.
  2. Intro/Hook:

Ask your students if anyone knows what “recycling” means. Then ask if they knew that food can be recycled too. Lay out or pass out visual examples of materials that can be composted. Ask your students if they eat, use, see these materials on a daily basis. Explain to them that these materials can be composted, which is nature’s way of recycling vegetable, fruit, and plant scraps. When the recycling process is over, fresh and nutritious compost is made, and can now be used as natural fertilizer to grow plants.

III. Body:

Composting is a cycle

What’s a cycle (ie. Recycling, water cycle, etc.) A cycle is a bunch of different things that happen over again in the same order. Composting works in a simple cycle too and it helps our garden grow. This happens all the time in nature and probably in your backyard. Bring out the composting cycle white board or poster. It should look something very similar to this (with illustrations of course)

Explain how composting works with the board:

  1. Banana tree -> 2. person eating a banana -> 3. banana peel -> 4. compost method (tumbler, pile, worm bin, etc.) -> 5. finished compost -> banana tree.
  2. Assessment:

Activity: Cycle Up!

Explain that we are going to play a hands-on activity to see if we can put together the compost cycle in small groups.

Split your class up into small groups and explain the purpose of Cycle Up! Each small group of students gets a stack of cards, arrows, and numbers. There are 5 cards, 5 arrows, and numbers 1-5. Each card has a “step” to the compost cycle: 1. apple tree, 2. person eating an apple, 3. apple core, 4. apple core in composting device, and 5. Finished compost. The purpose is to place the cards in order just like the poster. If there’s time have the groups of students trade stacks of cards.

 

 

  1. Conclusion:
  2. Reflection (how was the lesson?)

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