4th Grade Waste Watchers building garden to study decomposition

scarecrow 2

Waste Watchers stuffing the scarecrow.

This winter, the 4th Grade Waste Watchers put up a popular bulletin board in the cafeteria showing how long it takes some common items to decompose. Over the four months that the board was up, we fully decomposed three bananas (in baggies). Now the 4thWW are moving their decomposition lesson outside to the courtyard.
elizabeth and alison maple syrup

In addition to creating an activity in which students can sort on a timeline how long it takes items to decompose, the Waste Watchers have picked items to bury. Each Waste Watcher filled out a form, predicting how one of those items would weather and decompose. They then took a photo of themselves with the item so we’ll have a record of what it looked like before it went underground.

Above ground, the students are creating a scarecrow out of some of the items. There will be pictures of that, too, so we can see how good it looked before being rained on, snowed on and left in the sun. A binder of the photos and forms will be in the courtyard shed. We plan to track the decomposition of the scarecrow and will dig up the items next spring — as 5th Grade Waste Watchers.

scarecrow 1

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