PRIMARY ELEMENTARY | SCIENCE
- SKE2b. Students will use their senses to observe soils by physical attributes such as smell, texture, color, particle or grain size, etc.
- 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.
b. Use tools to observe and record physical attributes of soil such as texture and color.
- Take a walk around the school to collect soil samples from four different areas that seem to have different soils (playground, garden bed, near a sidewalk, under a tree, etc).
- When the class returns to the gathering place, divide students into four groups each with one of the soil samples. Provide each group with a hand lens (or another magnifying tool) and a Sensory Soil reproducible to record how their soil sample looks (color, grain size, etc), smells, and feels.
- Allow students to rotate through the four stations (providing a new Sensory Soil sheet for each station), so they can record their observations of each.
- Optional: To further explore the color of the soils, the soils can either be rubbed onto the paper to capture their pigment or they can easily be made into paints by removing the debris and mixing with a small amount of water.
- BLM soil activity website for kids
- Soil Layers diagram / worksheet
- How healthy soils in an organic garden nourish plants (and therefore people) better than artificial fertilizers
- Bureau of Land Management web site for children on soil communities, including the Incredible Journey section
- Soil Shakedown Directions
- Do the Rot Thing composting lessons and activities
- Jump into Science: Dirt by Steve Tomecek
- Dirt: The Scoop on Soil by Natalie Rosinsky (Provided in Lesson Kit)
- Soil Basics by Mari Schuh
- Soil: A True Book by Christin Ditchfield
- In the Garden with Dr. Carver by Susan Grigsby, 18-23 (Provided in Lesson Kit)