Trash or Compost?
- Identify food scraps that can be composted
- Identify items that cannot be composted
Everything breaks down and decomposes over time, but not everything is compostable. Some items would introduce inorganics to the system and others would take forever to breakdown. Knowing what to include in your Lab’s compost will help to maintain the proper balance and ensure that the end product is viable for the garden or raised planters.
It’s also important to inform everyone involved so that there is less need for a single person to screen all the items that go into the compost bucket in the kitchen or at one of your community collection partners. If you plan to work with a local restaurant to source inputs for your composting effort, knowing what will work and what doesn’t will make the large-scale effort go much more smoothly.
This lesson will help Students and support staff develop a better understanding of what is compostable.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- What can be composted (Flashcards)
- Paper and pencil to track Student responses
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by reviewing the composting process with specific mention of the balance between browns and greens. Give the class several examples of foods and organic material that can be composted as well as some that cannot.
Activity (20 minutes)
Go around the room one by one and present a flashcard that the Student must categorize as something that can or cannot be composted. Give a bonus point if they can label the item as brown or green. Simple competition where highest score wins.
Discussion (10 minutes)
What happens to food scraps and organic materials in the compost bin? What does compost have that plants love so much? Can you name something that we could compost that wasn’t mentioned on a flashcard? What about something that cannot be composted?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you know what can and cannot be composted?
- Now that you’ve learned about compost inputs, how many of you think you could help your family compost food scraps at home?
This lesson, and all other lessons on this website, are intended for use by teachers in the classroom. These lessons are protected by US and International copyright laws. Reproduction or distribution of lesson content, supporting materials, or digital creative is prohibited with written permission from Modern Steader LLC.