Let’s make a stew…a COMPOST STEW! What do we need?
That’s why this book is one you should read!
Title: Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth
Author: Mary McKenna Siddals
Themes: composting, environment
What’s it about?
This a book that has something about Earth, helpful animals and other creatures, and produce for each letter of the alphabet to help teach children about the correct way to compost.
It has something for every single letter of the alphabet. It rhymes! The illustrations by Ashley Wolff are very fresh and inviting – being a mixture of both drawn and collage-effect. Characters are of a diverse range of cultures.
Some items may not be able to be put into all composts (for example some school and community gardens may not allow certain items listed in the book).
My Thoughts…Use It
I love this book. Okay, I love a lot of rhyming books but the fact that this one rhymes and teaches is just fantastic. I have used this book with students from grade 2-5. On some occasions I have used it as an introduced to composting at the beginning of the year – all schools I have worked at have had a compost collection where each class has a tin or bucket that kids put food scraps in after fruit and veg break/brain break, recess and lunch. It’s a good way to look at what can and can’t go into the bin (though we weren’t allowed to add paper to ours so you might find you need to explain around a few letters if your school doesn’t allow certain “ingredients” in their compost and a few are more home oriented rather than school). The other occasions I have used this book is in the lead up to Earth Day. It is a change from looking at recycling (which can dominant the teaching).
You may also find this book helpful in science lessons about decomposers in the food chain due to the references to worms and the role they play.
Each letter has a simple sentence – makes it so easy if you have students with additional/global delay needs as it is easy enough for them to understand. There is also a recurring rhyme throughout the book about adding everything to the “compost stew” that kids love to say when you get to it each time.
This book is definitely a good investment as it can be used in many ways and with multiple year levels. I say buy yourself a copy!