A few weeks ago, I finished up my unit on Matter and now I’m almost finished with my unit on Rocks, Minerals, Soils, and Fossils. While discussing matter, my students frequently made observations of the physical properties of many objects. While my student teacher was teaching reading, we had a sudden schedule change and couldn’t go to our scheduled library time, so we decided to quickly get a hands on and engaging lesson that tied in what we learned about physical properties to investigating soil. What resulted was the perfect lesson for a Friday afternoon.
As you can see from this picture, it snowed a few days before. Yes, it actually came down pretty significantly and accumulated to a little over an inch…in the middle of November. Yes. As you can only imagine, the kiddos were excited!
Anyways, this made collecting soil samples a bit difficult since the ground was still a bit frozen, but the shining sun definitely helped a little. I grabbed some Ziplock baggies, and plastic spoon and took them outside to collect a half-bag full of soil. Because we were going to make observations on the physical properties and the living and nonliving things, I let them know that anything they find in the soil could be collected – even bugs and garbage. They found a few good spots under trees, under the mulch in the playground, and along walkways.
Then, we went into the classroom and made physical observations and listed all the living and nonliving things that they found. They really enjoyed seeing ants walking around in their bags because they didn’t initially see them when they made their collections. Last, they sketched a picture of what was in their soil using labels.
If you would like to use the student pages featured, I quickly found them as freebies on TpT.
Soil Sample Observation Freebie