Composting with Worms


Teacher’s Name: GAY SAMPSON           

Class Grade Level(s) & School: Kindergarten, Lunt School

Class Subject: Science, writing and math

Number of Students in the class: 17/16                       

Lesson/Project Name: Composting with Worms

A.  Pre-Reflection

1. What are your own teaching goals going into this?  Please list at least 3.

a. Enhancing student learning in a new environment/outdoors/nature

b. Students learn by doing and observing

c. Students work together in groups to accomplish tasks

2.  What are your goals for students going into this?

a.  Process/skill goals

Students will learn how and why to compost.  They will learn about what foods they can and cannot compost.

Students will have a better understanding of how to reduce their everyday trash when they compost.

Students will observe a worm compost factory.  The worms have been working for over a year.  Students will learn about the soil is made and how their processed compost can be used in their school garden.

b. Subject/content goals

Students will have a better understanding about how they can help take care of the earth.

Students are taking on the responsibility of how to dispose of their food waste at school.

Students will understand (and have a greater appreciation) for worms and their important role in nature and how they help gardens.

B.  The Plan:

1.  Materials

Small shovels, worms, 10 gallon bucket with holes, food waste, brown leaves, work gloves, mixing spoons, plastic knives, water, newspaper, peat moss.

2.  The Class/Project

a. Prep before going outside: (30 minutes)

Reference: Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning By Herbert W Broda

Chapter 3 Taking your Class Outside: Nuts and Bolts.

First discuss the outside rules.

Remind students that this is work time/not recess.  Notify the office where we are, take a cell phone and go out a different door.

Ask students what they know about worms and composting?  Discuss with the students how we are going outside to make a worm composting bin. Read the book Nature Close –Up EARTHWORMS by Elaine Pascoe

Read Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser Nature Close –Up EARTHWORMS by Elaine Pascoe pages 27 – 31 “A Worm Compost Bin”

b. Outside: (30 minutes)

Students will be split into 4 groups – 4 students in a group.

Group 1 collect dirt

Group 2 collect brown leaves – break them into small pieces

Group 3 rip newspaper into small strips

Group 4 cut kitchen scraps into small pieces

When all groups have completed their jobs groups 1 – 3 will begin mixing everything in a tub, add peat moss and worms.  Explain to the students this is called bedding. Moisten the bedding. Ask why you need to moisten the bedding. Group 4 adds the food followed by a layer of moistened newspaper.  Cover with trash bag.

On our way back to the classroom I will share our “worm compost factory” which my husband and I started about a year ago. Students will observe the worms working and observe the soil they have made.

c. Classroom follow-up: (30minutes)

Back in the classroom we will have a class discussion about what they learned. “ Why is it important to compost?” “What and who benefit from people composting?”

Students will write and draw a picture in their journals about something    they learned.

C. Reflection:

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