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Becca Hatheway, Kerry Zarlengo, Lisa Gardiner, Sandra Henderson, Lynne Hehr, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th


Science, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 180-360 minutes
  • Ebooks
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Experiments
  • Worksheets
  • Artwork

Regional Focus




Elementary GLOBE Soils Module

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  • This lesson plan is useful for teaching kids about the features of soil, how soil is used by plants and animals, and the basics of decomposition.
  • Students will learn about different types of soils and their characteristics, the differences in how plants utilize soil as opposed to animals, and how environmental factors affect the rate of decomposition.
Teaching Tips


  • The digital book is colorful and engaging.
  • The lesson plan allows for plenty of student-centered learning.

Additional Prerequisites

  • A teacher may have to cut up activity cards  or create charts before administering this lesson plan.
  • The digital book is available to print or view as a PDF or ebook.


  • This lesson plan has adaptations for younger and older learners, so teachers should use discretion according to their learners' ages and ability.
  • Teachers are encouraged to shorten or lengthen activities based on learners' needs. 
  • This lesson plan could enhance a classroom discussion on how humans can protect the health of Earth's soil by not using insecticides or other poisons around their homes.
  • This lesson plan could augment a classroom discussion on why decomposers are so important for the environment.
  • Older students could connect this lesson to ecosystem dynamics, the historic effects of DDT on other species, and connections between decomposition and nutrient cycling.
Scientist Notes
The resource from CLEAN (Committed to Climate and Energy Education) provides teachers with a lesson plan to teach students about the different types of soil and the animals that live beneath their feet. The lesson plan contains an ebook, printer-friendly book, and student activities. After the lesson, students will be able to describe what soil is made of, the basics of decomposition, and why soil is important. This resource would be a great addition to a classroom discussion on the importance of soil and what soil is made of.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • K-ESS2-2 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.
    • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
      • 2-PS1-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Foundational Skills (K-5)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.3.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Measurement & Data (K-5)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.A.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
  • Related Resources


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