Using Compost To Keep Soils Healthy

Using Compost To Keep Soils Healthy

Lesson 3 of 5 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 4
  • Science
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students explore why soil health is important to growing healthy plants. They investigate how compost can be used to improve soil health and design an experiment to test what types of soil plants like best.

Note: This lesson could be conducted over two sessions.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • explore why we might need to improve soils and the ways we might do this
  • investigate organisms living in compost.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • explain how compost can improve soil health and provide food for soil organisms
  • design an experiment to test how plants respond to different types of soil.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • problem solving
  • curiosity

Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions - Year 4 Science

Students learn to:

  • explain the roles and interactions of consumers, producers and decomposers within a habitat and how food chains represent feeding relationships (AC9S4U01)
  • use provided scaffolds to plan and conduct investigations to answer questions or test predictions, including identifying the elements of fair tests, and considering the safe use of materials and equipment (AC9S4I02)

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards:  

Students identify the roles of organisms in a habitat and construct food chains. They plan investigations using planning scaffolds, identify key elements of fair tests and describe how they conduct investigations safely. 

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG 2: Zero hunger

Target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

UN SDG 15: Life on land

Target 15.3: By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.

Resources Required

Additional Info

Level of teacher scaffolding: High - oversee class discussions and group tasks, lead students in soil and compost experiment.

Special thanks to:

This lesson has been developed with the support of the Macdoch Foundation.

Cool's curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

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