Monday, January 9, 2012

Digging through Dirt

As we began our landform science unit we took a closer look at soil. Soil can be surprisingly fascinating! We spent some time discussing everything that is soil with the help of my super-duper soil anchor chart.
Key points I wanted students to focus on ( soil layers and types of weathered rocks by particle sizes)
Last Thursday I brought in soil samples from my yard and some awesome 5th grade scientist did the same. I had the students look at the soil up close and personal with magnifying glasses and microscopes. They recorded the smell, feel, images, and organic materials. I had them also pull out rocks (anything over 2mm-which they measured). I so wish I had pictures of them  playing the dirt! They really got into it. When they found worms and dead bugs (humus) things got very exciting.
 An excellent read aloud is Jump Into Science:Dirt. By first glance you may think it would be too babyish for 5th graders, but the content is fabulous! I swear it is written to teach all the state science standards. The children were engaged and it was very relevant to what we are learning. It is a must own if you have to teach soil to your students.
We then took our soil and put them in glass jars (filling them up half way). We add water and shook! After 2 mins layers started appearing. By examining the jars of the last couple of days we were able to label the different layers (sand, silt, clay) and see organic material floating on the top. I loved how the experiments tied in so nice to our lecture that first day! After final observations we could give evidence if our soil was good for growing plants or not.
I just love the worm bobbing in the water pic ;0)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these great ideas! I was wondering where the sheets are from as I'd love copies for my students.

    Mrs. Wiley