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K-12 Soil Science Teacher Resources

found in: science, 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

K-12 Soil Science Teacher Resources  provides information on soil basics and further information under science and social studies heading. The section Around the World describes the 10 major biomes and 12 major soil orders. Click a biome to learn more about it.

Lesson & Activities  from the Soil Science Society of America and external links are grouped K-4, 5-8, 9-12. There are more K-8 resources than 9-12.


Collecting Bugs from the Soil  ( PDF, 460 KB, 1 pg.) To investigate invertebrates in soil, students in grades K-4 make a berlese funnel from a clear plastic soda bottle to extract insects from leaf litter/humus.

Soil Texture Analysis ( PDF, 195 KB, 2pgs.) Students in grades 5-8 use a simple method to estimate the percent of sand, silt, and clay in soil and determine its texture. The lesson introduces the Soil Triangle  to determine a more precise analysis of soil texture.

Measuring Soil Microbial Activity Students in grades 9-12 design experiments to examine the relationship between microbial respiration rates and soil variables such as temperature, habitat, soil type, and agricultural management choices. A Teacher Guide ( PDF, 6.9 MB, 26 pgs.) is provided as a PDF. The complete Activity Package with teacher guide, student pages, and supplementary materials can be downloaded in a ZIP file.

The website includes a Glossary  and Ask A Scientist  where students can get answers to questions about soils, soil science, and careers in soil science, and teachers can request a classroom visit from a soil scientist.

Note: A free Webinar for Educators on April 17, 2018 Soils: Foundation for Life. Teachers should register now to receive viewing instructions for the Webinar.


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