Time to learn about compost! With the 2nd grade classes I talked about balancing a healthy compost in the garden. As an excellent source of organic matter for our soil, the compost plays an important role. I also wanted the kids to understand that food waste can be repurposed back into the food chain. A healthy compost has to have a balance of carbon rich foods, what we call browns, and nitrogen-rich foods, which we call greens. I had the students draw some nitrogen rich material we could add to the compost (vegetable scraps, grass, green leaves) and carbon-rich material (wood chips, dead leaves, paper) on a paper plate. We then turned our plates over and enjoyed a salad. The leftover plate and salad scraps were torn into pieces and added to the compost.
With my Pre-K class we focused on the part of the plant that catches sunlight for photosynthesis, the leaf! We looked closely at different types of leaves wit magnifying glasses and then did leaf prints with crayons and paper. On our leaf prints we could see the veins of the leaf, bringing water from the stem and roots out to the edges of the leaves. At the end of class we used dried nasturtium flowers and mint leaves to make tea bags, talking about the nutritional properties of leaves and drinking tea.