THEME: The Living Soil–The Living Plant: We are all Interconnected and Related
STRAND: Science of Soil Fertility
GRADE LEVEL: 6-8
Observe decaying organic matter and explain its role within the garden ecosystem.
Build and maintain a compost system to demonstrate the cycling of matter and apply to the garden.
Measure the change in volume of a compost pile over time.
Measure the temperature changes in a compost pile over time.
Collect and culture microbe samples using an agar petri dish. Using a microscope, analyze growth to distinguish between ʻthreadsʻ (mycelium) of fungus and the circular ʻclumpsʻ (colonies) of bacteria.
Construct a Berlese funnel to identify macroorganisms in the soil.
\* See Appendix:
NRCS Soil Biology Primer, Decomposition Timeline
Agar plate prep:
Graph the changes in volume and temperature of a compost pile and determine if there is a relationship.
Create a decomposition timeline using organic and inorganic items found in the garden and on school campus. Display in the garden