Decomposition Competition

Decomposition Competition

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These activities should be completed in the presence of a parent or guardian.

Keeping our planet clean helps all animals and humans. Spaces are more enjoyable for all when they have no litter. Instead of throwing all objects away, some things can be recycled, and some things can be composted. Knowing what objects can decompose can help you make smarter decisions when getting rid of objects and help keep our planet clean.

Discussion: Introduce decomposition by asking your youth what “composting.” This will help them understand that decomposition means the process of breaking down. When walking in your neighborhood, you may have seen a piece of paper breaking down or have seen leaves breaking down. This is an example of decomposition. Discuss that man-made objects take longer to decompose because they are composed of products that are not found in nature.


  • This handout is geared to help an adult leading this lesson. Click on the light build for additional resources


  • Description: Match an object with how long it takes to decompose. Learn how fast natural object take to decompose and learn how long man-made objects take to decompose. Discuss answers.
  • Modifications:
    • Encourage youth to use the internet to search decomposition times of objects they use every day.
  • Materials:


  • Write “Decomposition” on a piece of paper to help youth see what it means.

Additional Resources: