For our first science lesson of the new school year, I really wanted to get the students excited about getting dirty. What better way than to study dirt? Do you know the difference between soil and dirt? Simple geography. When it’s outside, that stuff is called soil. However, if it gets tracked inside on your carpet, say by your beloved pet for instance, then it instantly becomes plain ol’ dirt!
Our lesson objective was to identify and describe the components in soil. After spending time reading about the soil horizons, and taking notes, we ended our week-long study by creating (and eating!) an edible soil project. I found some excellent resources for this on the Internet, such as…
Soil Profile Foldable
As part of our research, we created foldables that served two purposes. First, it showed on the top layer the five layers we learned about in a soil profile – humus, topsoil, subsoil, parent material, and bedrock. Under each flap of the foldable, students wrote what was in the soil at each layer.
Edible Soil Project
Finally, we concluded our lesson by creating our edible soil project. You can easily find many variations of this project on the Internet. Use one you find, or do what I did and make your own “recipe.” Be sure, of course, to check for any food allergies among your students and use only those ingredients that would be appropriate and safe.
Here’s a PDF with the recipe I used to create our edible soil project. I’m already looking forward to doing this project again with my next group of 4th graders!