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Organisms: Life and Growth, Vocabulary


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Biology, English Language Arts


135 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Composting: A Treat for Mother Earth

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 23, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn about composting and its benefits to Mother Earth.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students brainstorm answers to the question “What do plants need to stay healthy?” and watch a video to learn about composting.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students choose from a group of assorted items to determine whether the items belong in the compost, recycle, or waste bins.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students listen to a read aloud of the book Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth and create compost in a two-liter bottle.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Sentence frames for student answers are included in the Teacher Document for additional support.

  • Students engage in motivating hands-on activities for kinesthetic learning.

  • Students use prior knowledge to make connections to essential vocabulary and other academic content through graphics, illustrations, literature, and informational videos.

  • Students can learn two composting songs for a physical and brain break during the lesson.

  • Students have various opportunities to engage in and practice motor skills and develop critical thinking and verbal reasoning.

  • Students work collaboratively with peers for discussion and group work.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teacher must acquire a hard copy or digital copy of Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth from the school or local library. 

  • Teacher can preview all listed resources:

  • For the Investigate section, teacher should prepare the following for the What Can I Compost? activity:

    • Option 1: Pre-cut items and place them in one heaping pile on the table, or give students individual piles to pull from.

    • Option 2: Place glue, scissors, and What Can I Compost? worksheets on the table and let students cut the items out themselves.

  • Teacher must gather materials for bottle composting before the lesson.

  • The following videos provide helpful instructions for making a composter.


  • Teacher can assign group work roles for greater student involvement. For example, a supply manager can collect and distribute supplies for the group, a time tracker can make sure the group adheres to time limits, an encourager can give positive feedback to group members, and a speaker can share the finished design with the class.

  • Students can use the sentencers provided in the Teacher Document for any class or group discussions. 

  • Teacher can provide gloves, masks, tongs, or spoons for students who may not want to touch, smell, or handle compost items.

  • Anchor charts with essential vocabulary are provided in the Teacher Document and can be used to enhance academic language and various developmental stages.

  • Students can construct their own Impact of Human Waste on the Environment poster. Students can choose activities in the Extra Challenge Worksheets.
Scientist Notes

This lesson provides elementary background information for students to gain insights on protecting Mother Earth through sustainable waste management, waste separation, and recycling. They will learn how to dispose of all kinds of solid waste and practice how to prepare compost. Additionally, this lesson will allow them to understand the importance of composting and how it can improve plant and soil health. The lesson was reviewed and has passed our science review examination.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • K-ESS2-2 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Foundational Skills (K-5)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.2.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
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