Will the Worm Lesson Plan – Year one Lesson objectives taken from the pod website ►► to learn what compost is and how it is made ►► to make a mini compost bin ►► to create a compost-themed collage ►► to explain the role of worms in making compost Resources and preparation partly copied from the pod website Fruit leftovers from snacktime Any vegetable peelings and leftovers from the kitchen A box of tea bags A roll of kitchen paper A newspaper A bag of leaves/twigs One small box per group A3 pieces of paper (one per group) Pictures of compost and of brandling worms Glue, scissors, pens, coloured pencils and paper A grow bag with window for access to compost A willow edging for the compost garden Digging equipment Pencils, clipboards and bug hunt sheets Introduction Start by giving every child a piece of fruit to eat. Ask them to keep any waste (apple cores, banana skins, orange peel). While the children are eating I will show them the powerpoint presentation from the pod that shows them why it is important to look after the environment. I will introduce and explain the word BIODIVERSITY. We will also look at some pictures of compost on the internet. Do they know what it is? What do they think it is made from? What might it smell like? What is it for? Activity 1 Introduce Will the worm and friends and read the story. Explain that we are going to make our own mini compost bin. A compost bin is a place where you can recycle rubbish that will rot. Can Children give examples of what types of rubbish this might be? Vegetable peelings, grass cuttings and old plants are perfect for a compost bin. So are newspapers, egg boxes and fallen leaves. The first job will be to go outdoors and see if we can collect any twigs, leaves, dead plants and grass to use in our bins. Split the class into groups of four or five. Give each group a box. Explain that they are going to layer the box with waste just like a compost bin. Each group will need: • a handful of tea bags • a handful of leaves/twigs • one sheet of kitchen roll • the waste from their fruit snack • one sheet of newspaper Start by asking children to put half of their leaves/twigs in the bottom of the shoe box. Follow this with a layer of ripped up newspaper. Next add the fruit waste, a layer of ripped up kitchen roll, a layer of tea bags and then the remaining leaves/twigs. Demonstrate each stage of the process so that the groups can follow your lead. Explain that if children were to leave their compost bins outside, all the waste would gradually rot and turn into compost. Compost can be put back into the ground to help plants grow. Activity 2 Together as a class we are going to make a mini compost bin which we will put near the bug hotel outdoors. (One class will put theirs in the KS1 area and the other will put theirs in the Foundation Stage area. We will follow the same procedure as the group bins and add the fruit leftovers. We are actually going to use a potato grow bag as our compost bin and as we put it near the bug hotel the children will surround it and the hotel with willow edging. Finally we will pop in a minibeast sign to welcome any visitors. From time to time over the next few weeks we will open the window of our bin and remove some ripe compost and add it to the bug hotel. We will use our clipboards and bug hunt worksheets to record any minibeasts we see, especially any worms, while we work. Activity 3 In their groups, children are now going to use the contents of their first compost bins to create a compost bin collage. They should glue all the bits and pieces to a large piece of paper with the title “Our Compost Bin” at the top. N.B. The fruit waste will be replaced with drawings of apple cores, banana skins etc. Activity 4 Compost bins quickly become home to many insects. Can children suggest any? Have they recorded any insects on the bug sheet? Snails, slugs, earwigs, woodlice, beetles and spiders are all good suggestions. Refer back to the story of Will the Worm. Red, stripy worms that appear in compost bins are known as brandlings or tiger worms. They are special worms that eat only rotting matter. Show Children what they look like using the images from the internet. Discuss their appearance. Worms are important because they help mix the compost and their tunnels bring air into the compost bin allowing the compost to “breathe”. Ask the children to draw pictures of the brandlings, cut them out and add them to their compost bin collages. They can add a sentence that says: “Worms help make the compost.” Plenary Groups share their collages with the rest of the class. Ask for volunteers to complete the sentence: “Compost is made of rubbish but it is important because…”. Ask for volunteers to write the sentences down to display with the collages. Read Will’s story again and look forward to his visit!