Learn about food decomposition due to bacteria with this short podcast

Produced by FunKids Radio and the RSC, this short snippet uses Kareena and her superhero friend K-Mistry to introduce children to food decomposition due to bacteria.

This podcasts can be used as a ’hook’ when introducing the topic to your students, or at the end of a lesson to stimulate discussion about what they have learnt.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, including:
    • Observing changes over different periods of time

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That food decomposes, and that living bacteria are largely responsible.
  • That different foods decompose at different rates.

Suggested activity use

The ideas described in the recording could provide a useful way for children to safely observe different foods decomposing over time. Children could work in groups to carry out the observations, making predictions about which food they think will decompose quickest and why. 

Children could write food diaries and note down their observations about what they see happening over the course of a few weeks and support what they are seeing by researching using secondary sources.

Practical considerations

A range of foods will need to be provided for children to observe and research.

A range of foods will be needed for children to observe decomposition.

Transparent, sealable containers will be required to store the food and for the children to clearly observe the changes taking place.

Please take into account health and safety considerations, particularly relating to allergies as well as handling decomposing foods.