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Science - 4th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 3
2 class periods of 45 minutes each
Students make soil using local materials and compare plant growth in natural and student-made soil.
For each group of 3-4 students:
Soil is the material that constitutes the outermost layer covering practically all of the Earth's land surface. Soil is made of air, water, humus (decayed organic material) and rock particles. Soil is formed by the slow process of weathering (the breaking down of rock), erosion (the moving and deposition of weathered rock material), and the combining of those rock particles with air, water and organic material. It can take from 100 to 600 years or more for nature to make one inch of topsoil. Often one inch of topsoil is removed from land by erosion in one year. Soil can be "manufactured" by people imitating the forces of nature. When people use composted organic materials in their gardens, they are helping soil to develop.
This activity can also be done in the field or as a homework assignment.
Assess the student's lab write up using the rubric below.