Skip Navigation

Soil pH

Time Frame

1 class periods of 60 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups


Utah LessonPlans


Students will test soils they bring from their neighborhoods for pH.



  • student sheet (attached)
  • acid-base or pH indicator paper - 1 vial
  • soil (1/3 cup) - per group
  • filter paper or coffee filter -- one per test
  • plastic cup or beaker - per group
  • boiled and cooled distilled water
  • waste container

Instructional Procedures

In advance:

  1. The distilled water needs to be boiled to remove the CO2(aq) [carbon dioxide gas in solution]. Store in a sealed container after boiling to keep out CO2.
  2. Ask students to bring soil samples from their yards and neighborhoods. They should bring at least one and ask them to look for places where they thing the pH might be unusual (under a pine tree, in a heavily fertilized area, an unused area, next to the house etc) They should bring about 1/3 C in a plastic bag.
  3. On the day of the lab, read the introduction with students and discuss procedures.
  4. Give students time to perform the tests. Each group should report on a soil or two that they think is interesting.


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Created: 01/06/2015
Updated: 02/05/2018