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What is composting?

Composting happens all the time in nature when leaves, grass, trees and all sorts of other living things die and turn back into soil.

How can this apple turn into this soil? Living things turn back into soil when tiny animals called microorganisms break them down. Some animals help the microorganism. Worms are an animal that you see all the time that help turn dead leaves, grass, trees and other things into compost.

Does anyone know what it is called when things that were living turn back into soil? It is called decomposition.

Composting happens all the time in nature but it doesn’t always happen with the food we eat so we have to help it.

Why do you think it is good to compost? When you compost, you put all of your leftover food back into the Earth where it came from instead of putting it in a landfill.

How many of you know what a landfill is? Landfills are huge mountains of garbage. Some landfills are bigger than all of your houses combined. Landfills pollute the water and the air and hurt animals.   

Compost is also good because it puts good nutrients back into the Earth. 

How many of you take vitamins in the morning? Putting compost in the ground is like taking a vitamin. Vitamins give you nutrients and make you healthy. Compost does the same thing for the Earth.

So, it is very important that we all compost. You already compost in your cafeteria right here at school.

(Read book)

This outline is for a lesson that I did for 2nd and 3rd graders last year at Coventry Grammer School and George Hershey Robertson.  This lesson was one aspect of an independent study that I conducted in which I tried to teach children about composting and its benefits and look into the possibility of starting composting programs at the schools in Coventry.  This meets the expectation of personal choices and goal setting because I did this independent study completely on my own.  I chose to put the time and effort into this project, created the curriculum for myself, and set goals for what I hoped to accomplish.