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In Soils, students investigate the chief components of soil—sand, clay, and humus—and explore the relationship between soil and plant growth. Early in the unit, they create their own compost bags. This activity enables them to observe the decomposition of different kinds of organic materials over time.

Students observe and read about earthworms to learn about their connection to plant roots and soils. The students also conduct tests that enable them to observe and compare such properties of soil as odor, appearance, and texture. Phenomena such as settling, water content, and soil consistency are also explored. These are then related to plant growth, as students plant cucumber seeds in a clear plastic tube.

By observing root growth, students learn about the role of roots in keeping the plant anchored and upright. In a final activity, students apply what they have learned to investigate a sample of local garden soil.

Art-Science Integration for Soils 


Crosscutting Concepts in Soils Lessons - This document Identifies examples of NGSS Crosscutting Concepts found in Soils lessons and provides instructional tips.

Soils Learning Targets

Soils Kit Packing List


Alternate Record Sheet4-A/5-A - Touch and Roll Wet Samples and Streak Test