teaching soil in science - ProTeacher Community


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teaching soil in science
Old 09-19-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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Hi all. This is my second year teaching 2nd grade. We have to teach a unit on soil, but we are given no curriculum outline or materials. It was a weak unit last year as it was new to all of us in my building. We'd like to make it more exciting this year and would appreciate any ideas for experiments, lessons or materials. Thanks!


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What is the standard?
Old 09-19-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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Is there a district or state standard to meet? Soil is pretty broad. My science book is in my classroom, but I will look in it next week and see what our specific standard is that goes with that unit. I just saw the pages for a soil lesson in the earth science section yesterday. PM me if I forget to get back to you! My mother-in-law just passed away last night and I'm a little frazzled and exhausted, but I want to help you.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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I read a book called Dirt: The Scoop on Soil by Natalie M. Rosinsky, and then we walked around our schoolgrounds to locate various types of soil. I also had the students bring in a baggy of soil from home and we studied and compared them. We studied sand further, looking at it with hand lenses. We put sand in a container and poured water into it, let it settle for a couple days, then observed the silt layer that formed. We planted beans in sand and in potting soil to compare the growth.
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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To show the layers of soil (top soil, subsoil etc.), We had the kids put gravel, sand, top soil, mulch and water in a cup. They decided on the order. We waited about a day and observed how the layers formed. This was to show them the different layers of the soil underground.
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the standards
Old 09-22-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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The standard is as follows....

2.3.a. Soils support the growth of many kinds of plants, including those in our food supply.

The grade level expectations...

1. Observe and analyze the different components of soil, including rock fragments, water, air, minerals and organic material.
2. Use senses and simple equipment (e.g., sieves and settlement tests) to separate soil components and identify sand, silt and clay particles.
3. Classify soils by properties such as color, particle size (texture), or amount of organic material (humus).
4. Explain and evaluate the importance of soil to plants, animals and people.
5. Plan and conduct fair tests to investigate how different soil types affect plant growth and write conclusions supported by evidence

Any ideas are very appreciated....even books that any of you have used.

4cips - sorry about your loss


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Soil
Old 09-26-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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I'm doing a soil unit is Science right now. I put the students in groups of two and we began by talking about soil and all we already know. We read some informational books as well. The following lessons were:

1. talk about importance of soil, discuss real soil scientists, show soil and then introduce three main components of soil: clay, sand and humus. Have children describe what each looks like (use a hand lens)
2. examine the three components by touching.
3. put each in three different cups, cover with hand and gently shake it next to ear to hear the sound it makes.
4. have kids smell each sample. Teach them about wafting so they don't inhale any soil.
5. then they can add water to each and see how they change.
6. perform a smear test on paper. add a few drops of water to each of the three, put finger in it and make a smear on paper. discuss the differences.

these lessons are fun and very hands-on. make sure you implement a good system for distributing the materials. during each lesson record children's results on seperate big sheets. you can also take some pics and make a power point presentation to summarize it all when done. hope this helps, good luck.
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thanks
Old 09-27-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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thanks for the ideas - we are starting soil on Monday!
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