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Introducing Microbes as Decomposers

Unit Plan: Decomposer DynamicsLesson: 1 Time: 1 hour Setting: Classroom
3-5, 6-8Schoolyard Ecology
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Students propose how dead plants disappear over time, then examine mold, and talk about microbes as decomposers.



For the class:

  • paper grocery bag of dead plant material-
  • sheet of newprint
  • copy of Who Eats What guide

For each pair of students:

  • sandwich-size  ziplock baggie of moldy squash or pumpkin (see "Planning Ahead")
  • 2 hand lenses

See Resources for further details.

Lesson Files

Introducing Microbes as Decomposers
Contains "Planning Ahead" and "Resource List"

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

5D Interdependence of Life, 5E Flow of Matter and Energy

NYS Standards

MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems, Planning and carrying out investigations

Hogan, Kathleen. Eco-Inquiry: A Guide to Ecological Learning Experiences for the Upper Elementary/Middle Grades. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, PO Box 1840, 4050 Westmark Drive, Dubuque, IA 52004-1840., 1994.