Tending an outdoor compost pile is part of older elementary students'
responsibilities in their urban orchard. To understand how humans
fit into the process, they continue to research and read about decomposition
and composting and prepare two activities for their Growing Buddies.
They also describe their activities through Computer Journals and
For more about Special #2 from
Virtual Urban Gardens e-mail
Bill Ganter , author and AT&T
Understand humankind's interactions with nature, the benefits
and consequences of those actions, and the impact of science.
Share their work with peers and the community through on-line
Connect science and technology to a variety of career opportunities.
Exploring the impact of garbage, biodegradable versus nonbiodegradable,
and understanding how humans fit into the decomposition picture, students
prepare two activities for their second grade
1. Decomposition Drama .
2. Buried Treasure: Garbage Activity .
Discussion and journal writing follow.
As they continue to mentor their Growing Buddies, older students prepare
youngsters to understand and eventually care for their Urban Orchard
Urban Gardeners visit students in their classroom and orchard. Defining
and demonstrating natural decomposition and composting i.e. human
efforts to recycle natural waste, they describe how farmers, horticulturists,
gardeners, recyclers, and food processors contribute to this process.
The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad, A Book about Decomposition,
1995: Scholastic; Compost! Growing Gardens from your Garbage
by Linda Glaser, 1996: Millbrook; Materials for Decomposition Drama
(Button #1) and Buried Treasure (Button #2)
Using Microsoft Word and floppy disks for their Computer Journals,
students learn to use the digital camera and scanner and post photos
and graphics with Adobe Photoshop software on the Internet for their
Teachers and students evaluate the Growing Buddy activities based
on preparation, clarity, and sequence of sharing information and giving
directions. Computer Journals and e-mail are checked for accuracy
and comprehension of organic vs. nonorganic, biodegradable vs. non-
Students research composting tips at http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/compost/schools.html