Recognizing Soil as the Source

Students will learn to recognize earth materials.


45 Minutes



Collection Group

Sorting Out Soils



  • 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 soilFruits → 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.

Recommended Resources


Children’s Literature

  • 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)

More Explorations

Shaking Down the Soil

Shaking Down the Soil

Exploring the Ingredients in Soil

Exploring the Ingredients in Soil

Comparing Soils

Comparing Soils

Recognizing Soil as the Source

Recognizing Soil as the Source