Strand: Materials

Lesson : Change and Decay in Food


1. To classify items which will/will not decay. 2. To observe changes which take place in food over time. 3. To observe change in food under different conditions: in the soil, under plastic, in the open air.

Materials Needed

A range of items including those which decay and those which do not:

Tin Can

Laptop and Data Projector
Screen and Speakers
Software: Smudge the Scientist - Storm Educational Software




Firstly we will observe the food leftovers that have been in our classroom from previous lesson. What changes have taken place? What changes do you notice?

1. In the soil
2. Under the plastic .
3. In the open air

This will be followed by a discussion and the children will talk about the observations they have made.


Development - Classifying Things that Decay and Do Not Decay

The children will come up individually and sort the items into two groups: those that will decay (Carrot, Newspaper, Apple) and those that will not decay (Tin Can, Bottle).

Using "Smudge the Scientist" software children will click on the mouse and classify a range of items in this way.

Decay Fact File

Using the CD Rom we will then proceed on to the "DECAY Fact File."

Here the children will observe what happens to items when the dog buries them in the soil, under the ground. Before clicking on the time chart I will question the children as to what they think will have happened to various items of food and containers. They will then click on the time chart. This shows progressively what happens to the items over a 9 week period (eg Week 1, Week 9). The dog digs up the soil to see what changes have taken place.


Conclusion/Follow Up Activities

The Magnifying Glass - "Smudge the Scientist" CD

We can then go to "The Magnifying Glass". This will show in close up what is happening to the items under the ground. A discussion will follow this and I will ask - Why is this happening? How is this happening ? We will relate this information to what we have already observed in our own leftover items in the classroom.

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