Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: World of Wonder: A Program on the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism for Grades K-1

Taking It Home: Decomposition

Part of World of Wonder

Life is like a compost heap. The rotting debris of everyday trials just keeps piling up... but if we wait long enough and remain steadfast and strong, even the stinkiest pile will bear good and worthwhile things.
—posted on the Earth Friendly Gardening blog, author unknown

In today's session... we explored decomposition and its important role in the web of life. We made Earthworm Wonderlands and talked about composting. We had fun with the Decomposition Chorus. Print out a coloring sheet (PDF) for this session’s story and invite your child to explain to you what decomposition means.

Explore the topic together. Explore the Earthworm Wonderland your child brought home. After studying the worms, release them outside in a back yard, garden, or public green space. Find more wonderful activities in Laurie Carlson's book, EcoArt!

Extend the topic together. Set up a worm compost bin or other type of composting at home. Resources can be found in the Faith in Action activity. Contact a principal or teacher at your child's school to work with the school to start composting.

A Family Adventure. Take a hike to look for signs of decomposition (Alternate Activity 2) or try log dissection (Alternate Activity 3). Be sure to bring magnifying glasses!

Family Discovery. Watch a video from New Hampshire public television (approximately 14 minutes) about decomposition. If family members find some of the visuals "gross," try to think of the images as "fascinating," instead!

A Family Game. Have your child show you the motions for the fun with the Decomposition Chorus, or make up your own. Or, use ideas from the eHow website to create a family board game about decomposition.

A Family Ritual. Perhaps your family already practices the ritual of chalice-lighting before dinner. Bring this kind of reverence and intentionality to composting. You might make a compost collection pail for your kitchen, and at the end of the day, make a trip to your compost bin to "feed" it, recognizing your part in the interdependent web of life.