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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Here, you can find free sustainability lessons to use in your class and upload your own lessons to share. Be sure to rate the lessons you use and leave comments for your colleagues!

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Recycling by Composting

Lesson Description:
In this lesson, students pay attention to what waste they produce, consider whether this waste is compostable, and carry out a composting experiment. They then plant experimental gardens using the different kinds of composted soil. Finally, students develop, advocate for, and ultimately implement a composting program in their school. This lesson can be modified for almost all grade levels and includes NAAEE standards on the overview page:
Lesson Type:
  • Audio - Video
  • Project
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Gardening

Time Needed:
Up to 1 semester
Standards Addressed:
North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)

Excellence in Environmental Education: Guidelines for Learning 
Strand 1—Questioning and Analysis Skills (Guidelines A, C, E, F)
Strand 2.2—The Living Environment (A, C, D)
Strand 2.4—Environment and Society (A)
Strand 3.1—Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues (A, B, C)
Strand 3.2—Decision-making and Citizenship Skills (A, D, C, D)
Strand 4—Personal and Civic Responsibility (C, D).

Technology Foundation Standards for Students 
Standard 1: Basic Operations and Concepts
Standard 3: Technology Productivity Tools
Standard 4: Technology Communications Tools
Standard 5: Technology Research Tools.
Materials Needed:
  • What's Up In the Environment video (optional) 
  • For the chart graph paper (optional)
  • Composted soil
  • Gardening tools (spade, 10 large flowerpots)
  • Soil test, pH kits
  • Indigenous, fast-growing seeds
  • Data records (Excel, or notebook or log book)
  • Camera
  • Excel (optional)
  • Powerpoint (optional)  

School or Group:
Thirteen Ed Online
Contact Email:

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