So – we’ll be sharing more science lessons and experiments on the blog, along with resources we find online that we love for learning STEM concepts. Today we’re sharing a recent activity using decomposition lesson ideas for kids!
Decomposition Lesson Ideas for Kids
This was NOT one of our planned lessons. A banana in our fruit bowl began to rot and the kids were fascinated by it. So I decided to let it rot so we could examine decomposition up close.
The amazing thing about kids is that they are fascinated by gross stuff. They wanted to see the rotting banana up close. So we got out a plastic fork and poked around.
That gave us a really close look at the bacteria growing inside the fruit.
That face says it all. But then we learned about the process of decomposition and how amazing it is! First, we watched a clip from Sid the Science Kid showing a lab experiment about decomposition.
Michigan Tech University has a great explanation of what happens during the process of decomposition. Basically, bacteria, fungi, and worms perform the work of decomposition by breaking down living organisms after death. This is a GOOD thing, because the broken down organisms become part of the soil and provide a natural fertilizer so that new things can grow. It’s the ultimate recycling!
To get an even closer look at decomposition, check out this video of a watermelon slowly decomposing over 35 days.
Activities about Decomposition:
- Free Decomposing Worksheets for Grades 5-6: Great Schools
- Decomposing Experiment – Education.com
- Biology for Kids: An Overview of Fungi – Ducksters
- Easy Decomposition Experiment – Science Sparks
Books about Decomposition for Kids:
- Insects as Decomposers by Lyn Sirota
- Composting: Nature’s Recyclers by Robin Koontz
- Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
- What’s Sprouting in My Trash? A Book about Composting by Esther Porter
- The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad: A Book about Decomposition by Joanna Cole
- Decomposers (Science Kaleidoscope) by Greg Roza
If you enjoyed these decomposition lesson ideas, stop by and see some of our other unit studies!
Plus, follow my It’s Science Pinterest board for more hands-on science fun!