Make a sign for your compost heap

Activity

Identify top tips for making compost and communicate them to others in the form of a written sign

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Learn about the composting process and see first-hand composting in action 
  • Create useful information signs to tell others about the composting process

Essential background information

Preparation

If the school only has one compost bin, consider where another one (or two) could be sited.

Equipment needed

  • Compost heaps to study
  • Paper, pencils
  • Laminator for adult use (optional)
  • Plastic bottle to keep signs dry (optional)
  • Wooden stakes/ canes to attach sign (optional)

Step by step

  1. Go to the composting area and look at the various states of decomposition by examining the contents of the compost bins.
  2. Ask the pupils for their top tips for making good compost.
  3. As these pupils are the ‘Experts’, their task is to design a ‘top tips for making great compost’ poster to display next to the compost area.
  4. If the school has 2 or 3 compost bins make a label for each bin so other people using the garden know which one to fill, which one is rotting down and which can be used on the garden straight away.
  5. After creating the posters and signs, ask pupils how these should be displayed and how they can be protected from the weather (laminating or put inside a plastic bottle).
 

Hints & tips

  • Compost takes time to rot down. With only one compost bin, the compost at the bottom is ready first and it can be difficult to remove.
  • Ideally have 3 compost bins/ bays: Bin 1 - leave to rot for a year, Bin 2 - use the decomposed compost, Bin 3 - fill with fresh compostable materials.
  • Use this activity as part of the Earth Matters class growing topic

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