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Topic

Organisms: Life and Growth

Grades

K, 1st, 2nd

Subjects

Science, Biology

Duration

60 minutes

Regional Focus

Global

Format

Google Docs, Google Slides

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This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Digging Into the Secrets of Soil

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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Synopsis

This lesson introduces the idea of soil as an ecosystem and as a carbon sink.

 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students view a timelapse video that demonstrates the difference between soils with and without invertebrate decomposers.

 

Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn about the concept of soil as a carbon sink and examine soil samples to learn how to define soil.

 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students draw and record their findings, demonstrating understanding of soil as an ecosystem and create a model of their soil artistically using found materials in the classroom.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This lesson creates a collaborative learning environment for students to learn about soil as an ecosystem and a carbon sink for the environment.

  • This lesson features kinesthetic learning as students will be digging into samples of soil.

  • Students will develop a strong connection to self and others as they explore how we depend on soil.

  • Students will have an opportunity to share with family members the lessons learned via their artistic model of soil and its importance to all of us.

  • This lesson features age-appropriate vocabulary development.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It is necessary to obtain soil samples magnifying glasses before the lesson.

  • The teacher will need to gather “found” art materials from the classroom (e.g., paper, chenille stems, tissue paper, yarn, felt, glue, tape, etc.).

  • Teachers will need to get the book Dirt: The Scoop on Soil ahead of time. It is available in most public and school libraries.

Differentiation

  • Students can make predictions or answer questions after viewing the time-lapse video while exploring the soil samples, and as they develop their soil carbon sink models.

  • Students can work in pairs or teams to complete the hands-on soil activity and during the Inspire step.

  • Groups of students with mixed abilities can collaborate as they build their soil carbon sink models.

  • As an extension, students can walk around the schoolyard or playground and look for examples of “healthy” soil that is home to living organisms.

Scientist Notes

This lesson unravels the importance of soil and engages students to take actions to restore the soil for living things to survive. All materials have been fact-checked, and this lesson is recommended for teaching.

Standards

Primary Standard

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
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