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Interested in teaching your students or children about composting? We have curated two different curriculum options for you! 

The suggested composting curricula on this Web page involve three to four segments each and are designed for students in the 3rd to 5th grades. It is encouraged that the teacher crops each segment as they see fit, to tailor to their specific students and also to accommodate the amount of time they have.  The curricula are organized so that the first lesson incorporates big-picture ideas and progresses to the most detailed look at composting in the final lesson. 

Each image below links to a summary which includes whether the segment is a lesson or activity, title, estimated length, estimated cost (for activities), and the learning objectives. Teachers are encouraged to read the full lesson plans before officially deciding to utilize a particular segment. A mix-and-match approach between “Suggested Curriculums” is also encouraged if the teachers see that as best for the students. For some of the lesson or activity plans, PDFs are available only on the website that the plan originally came from, which is given to the teachers. 

All lessons and activities presented here are part of the TeachEngineering collection. They were originally created and tested by professors, teachers, and graduate students, with support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Gates Family Foundation. 




We have prepared handouts on the following topics ... 

Impacts of leaf burning. This handout explains how leaf burning negatively impacts human health and clean air in Elkhart County and outlines steps you can take to better manage your leaf and yard waste. 

Safe burning. This handout outlines the open burning regulations set forth in 326 IAC 4-1, explaining what can be burned and how it can be burned. To view this handout, click here.

Composting. This handout explains how you can use your leaves to create effective (and free!) soil amendments for your lawn or garden. Learn how to make leaf compost, leaf mold, or leaf mulch using materials you have at home. 

Hands in the Soil


Click on the image above to engage students in lessons such as "How should our Garden Grow", "Composting -- Nature's Disappearing Act", and "The 3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost)". 

Trash Pick-Up


Click on the image above to explore lessons and activities such as "Solid Waste Takes Over", "Trash Talking", and "Write on! Making Books or Newspapers to Share --like Engineers" 

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