Whatís important about decomposition?
For a class of upper elementary level students, the answer lies in
the schoolís urban orchard cultivated by the school community. There
they study the decomposition process and observe its complex community.
Learning how nature recycles from Internet research and local experts,
young scientists record their findings in computer journals and share
them with peer groups on-line and with younger students in school.
For more about this special from
Virtual Urban Gardens e-mail
Bill Ganter, author and AT&T
Gather scientific information through observation and experimentation
in the field.
Communicate results obtained by experimentation through journal
cooperative group discussions.
Share work with peers and the community through on-line communication
Upper elementary level students:
- Research and discuss decomposition.
- Make a glossary of related vocabulary.
- Observe decomposition outdoors.
- Create a wall chart of the
Students also prepare to take their second grade Growing
Buddies on a field trip to the school orchard where they observe a
decaying "nurse" tree. Both student groups review observations and
record them into computer journals.
Upper elementary students and volunteers from a local urban gardening
organization lead second graders on a field trip to the school's orchard
to observer how nature recycles.
As urban gardeners visit the classroom, students observe and interview
them on how decomposition supports the food cycle.
The Magic School Bus: Meets the Rot Squad, A Book about Decomposition
, 1995: Scholastic; materials for charts, clipboards, hand held lense
Using Microsoft Word and floppy disks for computer journals, students
also access the Internet to research decomposition and share findings
A class quiz evaluates student understanding of vocabulary and decomposition
cycle. Teacher checks observations posted to each studentís computer
journal and floppy disk.
Students research decomposition at