Posts Tagged ‘rot’

Back to the subject of decomposition! If you’ve already made a decomposition chamber, here are some great resources to continue learning about rot and decay.

First of all, the Magic School Bus! The book The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad is, as you can imagine, all about rot and decomposition. Wanda’s dead log is crawling with all kinds of live things, so Ms. Frizzle and the rest of the class go investigate. There’s a video episode to go along with the book, if you can get your hands on a copy and prefer something televised.

Still not excited about decomposition? Check out this song from Sid the Science Kid. It’s a favorite of the education staff here at Brooklyn Children’s Museum:

PS: New York City teachers – since you can’t watch YouTube in the classroom, here’s a link to the same content on the PBS website (scroll down to It’s Not Scary, It’s Decayed). For more Sid resources on rot, check out all the content associated with “My Mushy Banana,” in which Sid and his friends wonder what happened to the mushy banana that was left out.

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An earlier post talked about worms’ role in composting, but we completely glossed over the concept of decomposition. Sure, it can be gross and smelly, but decomposition is an important scientific concept for students to be introduced to.

Before introducing compost, students should have an experience of watching items decompose. Make a simple decomposition chamber and watch the process of decomposition happen in front of you. Full instructions for this simple project can be found on the Bottle Biology website.

Once you’ve built your decomposition chamber, students will be able to observe what rots and what doesn’t – a great jumping off point for considering which items can be turned into compost and which items have to be disposed of in a different way. You can also revisit worms and add them into the story of decomposition.

Bottle Biology, by the way, is a great website and book set, produced out of the University of Madison-Wisconsin. The concept is simple: observe scientific processes through the clear plastic of a soda bottle. You can find two other activities on the website or purchase the book for more ideas.

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