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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Composting "The Right Mix"

Lesson Description:
Students will be able to...
  • Identify soil as consisting of weathered rock and decomposed organic material.
  • Explain the benefits of composting to improve soil quality and describe the balance required between brown/carbon-producing materials and green/nitrogen-producing materials.
  • Use the concept of ratio to represent quantitative relationships.

Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Gardening

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Time Needed:
30 minutes
Standards Addressed:
Science Standard 2: Understand Earth’s composition and structure.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know components of soil and other factors that influence soil texture, fertility, and resistance to erosion.

Science Standard 5: Understand the structure and function of cells and organisms.
  • Benchmark # 9: Know that cells use inorganic compounds (e.g., minerals, water) to make materials that the cells or organism needs.

Science Standard 6: Understand relationships among organisms and their physical environment.
  • Benchmark # 5: Know how matter is recycled within ecosystems (e.g., matter is transferred from one organism to another repeatedly, and between organisms and their physical environment; the total amount of matter remains the same, even though its form and location change).

Mathematics Standard 2: Understand and apply basic and advanced properties of the concepts of numbers.
  • Benchmark # 1: Understand the relationship between equivalent number representations (e.g., ratios) and the advantages and disadvantages of this type of representation.
  • Benchmark # 9: Understand the concepts of ratio, proportion and percent and the relationships among them.

Mathematics Standard 3: Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation.
  • Benchmark # 6: Use proportional reasoning to solve mathematical and real-world problems (e.g., involving ratios and proportions).

Materials Needed:
  • six lemons
  • six cups of cold water
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • measuring cup
  • lemonade pitcher
  • spoon
  • small paper cups 
  • worksheet provided 

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf Composting_Worksheet.pdf
Located in: Math | Science

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