Recognizing Soil as the Source

Part of the "Sorting Out Soils" Collection


Students will learn to recognize earth materials.

Estimated Time

45 Minutes

Setting Required



  • SKE2c. Students will recognize earth materials – soil, rocks, water, air, etc.

a.  Ask questions to identify and describe earth materials—soil, rocks, water, and air.


  • Whiteboard or easel, markers
  • Journals or 8.5×11 copy paper (1 per student)
  • Coloring supplies (enough for each student)


  1. Pose the question to students, “What is the difference between dirt, mud, and soil?”. Discuss how dirt and mud are often referred to as a nuisance (“Don’t get dirty! Don’t track mud into the house!”) but how soil is a nutrient-rich valuable resource that grows all of our food.
  2. Ask one student what they had for breakfast then demonstrate how everything they ate originally came from a plant and from the soil.Here are some examples:
    Vegetables → grown in soil
    Fruits → grown in soil
    Bread → made from grain → grown in soil
    Eggs → came from chickens → that ate plants → grown in soil
    Milk → came from cows → that ate grass → grown in soil
    Honey → made by bees, from nectar collected from flowers → grown in soil
    Meat → came from an animal (that may have eaten another animal but eventually) → that animal ate plants → grown in soil
  3. Challenge students to (in their journals) draw something that they ate for lunch and draw the chain back to the soil.