Project Title: Soil Study
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Soil Study


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On January 30th, 2013 the first grade students at Willis Lane Elementary school welcomed soil experts from our neighborhood Home Depot. Willis Lane has partnered with the local Home Depot and they have assisted us with knowledge and resources the past couple years. We have become a greener school with their help.

The First Grade Texas State Standards require students to (1.7A) observe, compare, describe, sort components of soil by size, texture, and color and (1.7C) gather evidence of how rocks, soil, and water help to make useful products. The students were able to experience soil and rocks hands on while learning from individuals other than their everyday teachers. The students truly enjoyed asking the experts who work with soil everyday questions they had. The speakers were able to bring in additional resources and materials for the classes.

The students learned about the benefits of organic soil, which soils are better for gardens, everyday plants, and the soil we find across our land. 

Science lab


handlenses, toothpicks, spoons, craft sticks

soil - loam, sand, clay

scales- non standard weighing

bags of soil - same amount in each

4 netbooks

baby food jar with pebbles

minute timer

rock collection


Go to the Science Lab for Home Depot Soil/Rock Demonstrations/Experiments on each lab table place stations.

Allow about 15 minutes for Home Depot experts to teach and answer questions.

4 students in each group - wear goggles for safety purposes:


  1. 1. EXPLORE: Place different soils in open containers. Explore soils (loam, sand, clay) with toothpicks, hand lenses, craft sticks, and spoons. Discuss with group the color and texture of both.

2. WEIGHT: Students will hypothesize and predict which soils (loam, sand, clay) weighs more or less. Soils are in zip block bags. Hold in hands and then weigh with scales. Put in order from lightest to heaviest.

3. MAKE: make sand. Shake Rattle and Roll - Shake the pebbles in a baby food jar as hard as you can for about 1 minute. Stop and observe what happened. Let everyone in the group have a turn to shake the pebbles-

4. TECHNOLOGY: use Netbooks. Play soil game and research uses of soils.

5. SORT: sort different types of rocks using a rock kit. Use hand lenses to classify by color, size shape, and texture.

Assessment: participation and observation

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