Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Composting Lesson Resources and Videos

K-12

The Worm Guide is available from CalRecycle for download. The guide describes how food scraps are transformed into nutrient rich vermicompost and has a variety of interdisciplinary classroom activities.

Recycle Now has created a School's Resource Pack filled with teacher's notes about composting with great definable terms along with many compost activities.

"Do the Rot Thing: A Teacher's Guide to Compost Activities" was created by Central Vermont Solid Waste Management includes introductory, basic composting, worm composting, and spreading the word about composting activities for K-12.

Want to compost your school cafeteria lunch scraps? Here is a 98 page compost manual made by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shows the steps to establish and maintain a successful school-wide composting program.

View our School Waste Reduction Guides,  Compost Garden Signs, Composting Sifting Lesson Video, and Composting with Worms Video.

Great collection of composting resources including compost material images and compost critters.

Pre K

Vermicomposting activity for pre-K! First, the kids get to be worms moving their way through a cardboard apple and make worm puppets. Then, the kids peek inside the worm bin to see how worms make dirt!

K-5

The Marin County Office of Waste Management has created over a 100 page document titled, "Composting Across the Curriculum: A Teacher's Guide To Composting". It explains why composting is important and connects compost with science, math, history, and literature for K-6 classrooms! A must read if you need help connecting compost to your other curriculum!

Westlake Elementary students take a lesson in sifting compost and looking at invertebrates! Here is a great teaching example for a compost lesson.

Here is a video of a series of composting activities that can get your kids thinking about composting! 1st two activities K-5, the 3rd activity probably best for 5th-8th.

Mr. Paradise's Class Experiment with vermicomposting. See kids research decomposition, make worm boxes, and speak about what they learned through their vermicomposting class experiment in this video.

Middle School

Another option for an indoor composting system is a two-can bioreactor because it is small and if any foul odors are emitted from the compost the lid of the second can will contain them. Here is a page made by Cornell that illustrates how to build a two-can bioreactor.

A great way to have compost in the classroom is using a soda bottle bioreactor so each student can have their own compost. Different students can put different food scraps in their bioreactors to see what composts fastest! Cornell has instructions on building a soda bottle bioreactor.

A class could also use a high tech bioreactor to manipulate composting parameters inside the classroom. Cornell has a page dedicated to the building materials and procedure required to build a classroom high tech bioreactor!

Cornell has a large resource base of compost curriculum for teachers ranging from background information to compost engineering. 15+ compost curriculum ideas for middle school and high school students!

Middle School students from Mrs. William's Class at Discovery Middle School build a compost tumbler! See the video for ideas to build compost tumbler.

High School

Composting Curriculum by Cornell for high school students. This page presents many experiments high school students could perform on compost piles to contribute to math and science education.

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In 2016, you helped us bring 30 leaders from across the nation together for a first-ever Leadership Institute for School Garden Support Organizations.

The results are in on the work they have achieved together. In 2017, these 30 leaders collectively trained 463 teachers who teach over 10,000 students every year. And after their trainings, 98% of those 463 teachers reported an increase in their motivation and confidence to engage students in hands-on, experiential learning in a garden setting.

Do you know what that means?! That means more and more kids getting meaningful experiences like the students above! That’s why, in January of 2018 we’ll be hosting another Leadership Institute, this time for 50 leaders who will be coming in from all across the US, including leaders from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Because every child everywhere deserves the chance to discover a love of learning, healthy food, and nature. We can’t wait to see what these leaders accomplish in the year to come!

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Late afternoon light at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems is the best time of day. Add aerial video and fall colors and you get a real nice video. ... See MoreSee Less

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Today is the 174th birthday of Gertrude Jekyll, a British horticulturist, garden designer, artist, and writer. She created over 400 gardens in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." -Gertrude Jekyll
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A heartfelt thank you to our generous community for all of your support on #GivingTuesday yesterday! We celebrate all of YOU this #ThankYouWednesday--with your partnership, we are growing healthy, inspired children!
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Over the past four years, the amount of mobile screen time has tripled in kids under eight. Our programs get kids outdoors in gardens and farms where they are physically active and learn to love nature!

"We will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." - Baba Dioum

Will you join us today for #GivingTuesday in providing opportunities for children to love nature?

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The next generation of problem solvers will come from tomorrow's scientists. We partner with five schools in Watsonville to spark the curiosity of over 3,000 students in our school garden and field trip programs. Another 2,500 students engage in hands-on, garden-based learning at our Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, too.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." - Albert Einstein

You can influence real change today by supporting Life Lab for #GivingTuesday.

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Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.
Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside
Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom