Soil Teacher Resources
Find Soil educational ideas and activities
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New! Natural Resources Bingo
Bingo isn't just a silly game, it's a great way to practice all types of skills. After reviewing that the earth is composed of natural resources, what those natural resources are, and sustainability, the class plays a game of bingo. The game focuses on categorizing and identifying various objects to determine what type of natural resource they are. The wrap-up discussion prompts could easily be used as writing prompts instead.
Soil, Designer Soil: From Rainforests to the Prairie
Learners explore the role and importance of soil in the ecosystem. In this Science and Social Studies lesson, students complete an experiment using various kinds of soil and clay and then examine how soil has a direct impact on our environment and society.
"The Soil Around Us" Project
Young geographers collect samples of different kinds of soil to match to the soil terms in Barry Rudner's rhyming book Filet of Soil: dirt, mud, dust, soot, etc. They start a glossary for the project on index cards or large sheets of paper and post them in the hall for others to see! Invite a younger class to the hall to hear verbal presentations of the cards! Special treat: Follow the links to inspiring community-building activities, discussion builders.
Fourth and fifth graders explore soil by taking a simulated field trip under the earth. They go to an Internet site that runs a simulation which charges them with finding a source of pollution that could destroy all of Earth's soil, and neutralizing it. This innovative, educationally rich, and exciting lesson should pique your learners' interest and have them buzzing with excitement. What a great way to teach about soil and geology!
New! What's Is Soil Made Of?
It's time to roll up those sleeves and get a little dirty in the second instructional activity of this series on the science of food. Investigate where plants and animals get the minerals they need to live in this two-part exploration of soil. First, learners look carefully at soil samples, recording their observations and identifying the different materials they find. Then, plastic bottles filled with soil and water are shaken up in order to observe how the soil settles in different layers at the bottom. Measure these layers and discuss how soil is composed of a variety of materials. Use this activity to facilitate a better understanding of plant life, or as part of a instructional activity on geological processes.
Discovering Rainforest Locations
How many rainforests are there, where are they, and do global factors effect their locations? These are great questions that have great answers. Children in grades four through eight use several different maps to determine why rainforests occur where they do and what environmental factors cause them to grow. They examine biodiversity, soil, temperature, and precipitation maps to draw conclusions about rainforest ecosystems, then they mark all of the world's rainforests on a blank map. The instructional activity will lend itself well to a deep discussion on the environment, biodiversity, and habitat. Tip: This is a great research topic!
Soil In The Amazon
Learners grow plants in soil representing that found in the Amazon basin. They compare results to plants growing in fertile soil and soil fertilized with leaf compost. Students chart, average and graph plant growth by height. Learners compare leaf development in plants grown in different soils.
Learners model the soils layers using Oreo's. For this lesson students use their favorite food items to create a model of soil layers. A discovery lesson from a youth camp is adapted for classroom modeling and discussion of soil ecology. Teachers can customize to add depth to meet their needs.
Closing the Loop: A Game about Trash
Dice and playing cards are used to play a "resourceful" board game! Correct answers to questions on the cards get garbage to be reused, recycled, or composted, while incorrect answers get garbage sent to the landfill. Landfill points are negative, while the others all earn positive scores. Questions are thought-provoking and can be used to help address Next Generation Science Standards in earth science.
What Plants Need in Order to Survive and Grow: Soil
Students conduct an experiment to evaluate whether plants need soil to survive and grow. They plant two seeds, one with soil and one without, make predictions, and record and analyze the seed germination results on a worksheet.
What's Soil Got to do with it?
Students name three general kinds of soil: sand, silt and clay. They explain how percolation rates differ with the soil type. Students name two characteristics of wetland soils. They test soils to demonstrate how soil texture affects percolation rates and will'become' soil particles to experience soil types in an imaginary flower pot.
Soil Acidity and Leaching
Young scholars are introduced to the concept of acids and bases and arouse curiosity about acids and bases in daily life. They are introduced to the measurement of soil pH. Pupils are introduced to the effect of soil pH on nutrient cycling and loss. They are also introduced to the environmental impact of soil acidity.
Soil Testing and Texturing
Students are introduced to soil textures and why they are important in examining soil quality. They find out how to feel the difference between soil textures. Pupils describe which soil texture is best for gardens and growing healthy plants.
Students examine how erosion is affected by the composition of the soil and the slope of the land. They look at plant roots, rocks and land slope as experimental factors. They complete the associated worksheets before discussing their results in whole class setting.
Soil Detectives: The Case of the Lost Friends
Students show how soil varies across the landscape, they explain how soil can be used to solve mysteries. Pupils are introduced to techniques that would be used to distinguish soils from different places.
Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge Workbook
In this soil and water conservation Boy Scout merit badge worksheet, students complete 5 pages of multiple step, short answer questions about soil and how to conserve it. They list different types of soil, plant nutrients, and define associated vocabulary.
Apple Earth and Soil Study
Students examine soil and discuss its nutrients. In this soil lesson, students engage in an apple activity in which students come to understand that the amount of land for farming/plant growing is very small. Students then examine various soil samples brought from home and discuss the nutrients found in soil.
Properties of Soil: Original Lesson Plan
This lesson is an investigation of soil properties, particularly texture, color and space for air and water. Student inspect soil samples found in their locale, perform several tests to determine different properties, and involves a field-site investigation of soil detailed in individual science journals.
Testing for Chemicals in Soils
Students use sight, touch and chemical test kits to evaluate and classify soil types. They determine the organic content, soil pH, conduct visual analysis and nutrient tests of a variety of soil samples from various sources.
Life In the Soil: Home Sweet Home: Red Worms
In this soil worksheet, students complete 2 pages about the importance of soil in plant growth. Students read about red worms and answer 2 questions about composting. Students fill out a chart with their observations of plants planted in plain soil and compost enhanced soil.