Composting Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teach your students all about composting with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains what this process is and why it's important, than apply in creative ways.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the process of composting
  • describe why composting is important
  • make a mini-composting tub


1 hour


  • Copies of the lesson Composting: Lesson for Kids, one for each student
  • Clear plastic container
  • Soil
  • Gathered materials for composting, from students if possible
  • Zipper bags
  • Water
  • Spades
  • Index cards

Key Vocabulary

  • Composting
  • Decompose
  • Fertilize

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

Warm Up and Preparation

  • Prior to this lesson, ask students to bring in materials from the lesson to use for composting, such as food and vegetable scraps. Consider sending home zipper bags for collection along with a letter explaining your project.
  • Start the lesson by having students bring out their compost materials and sit with a partner.
  • Tell students to take a close look at their materials and ask:
    • What types of materials do you have?
    • What would you have done with these materials instead of bringing them in?
    • How much trash do you think your family produces in a day?
  • Tell students you'll be using these materials to help the environment and strengthen a garden.

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