Our World Without Decomposers: How Scary!by: Patty Spring and Natalie Harr

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A fifth-grade outdoor study of essential organisms in ecosystems.

  • Elementary
Publication Date

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Reviews (2)
  • on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:40 AM

This article explains the advantages of the decomposers since most students only see the negativity of bacteria or fungi. They may only view bacteria in a negative light which causes disease and not appreciate its beneficial role in recycling nutrients in an ecosystem. Students likely see fungi similarly, since they are commonly described as poisonous. The students explore a park with forests, meadows, streams, and wet- lands. Students begin to appreciate the role of diverse varieties of fungi in beneficial natural cycles. The students explore the world without decomposers. Students use scientific reasoning to portray their ideas about decomposers either in the caption or in the cartoon itself. The students create cartoons to show the world without decomposers. They learned that there would be no jobs for bugs or slugs. There would be dead trees everywhere and less oxygen to breathe because of dying producers. Herbivores wouldn’t get enough food. Scavengers would survive by eating dead animals. This article explains the importance of the decompsers.


  • on Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:53 AM

This interesting article describes several activities that students can experience with decomposers in and out of the classroom. Students study what decomposers do for the earth. There could be more detail in the article about this. The culminating activity is to write a story or draw a cartoon of what the earth would be like if aliens stole all of the earth's decomposers!!! That could really be scarey!!

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

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