Soil, It's Not Just Dirt!




How does a plant grow better? In order to compare the plant from a soil based pot to a plant from a gravel based pot, you will need to get: two clear containers to plant your seeds in, quick growing seeds, nutrient-rich potting soil, pea-sized aquarium gravel, water, and a ruler.

Below you will see a video to help you to plant your seeds. 

Plant a few seeds using the directions from the video clip into two clear containers. One container will have nutrient rich soil that you can get at a garden center. The second container needs to contain aquarium pebbles found in pet stores. The clear containers will allow you to observe their roots. After you have planted your seeds, predict which seeds will grow better. Write down your hypothesis. Observe the growth of your plants. Does one plant seem to grow faster? Is one plant bigger than the other? Do the roots seem to be more established in one container than the other? Record your observations. 

Here is another place you can check out facts about soil.


Go to: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/soil/down_dirty.html to learn the difference between dirt and soil. This section is called "The Down and Dirty."

Draw a word web with soil being at the center to show all of the different things you might find in soil.


After reading the "Down and Dirty" section, click on: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/soil/soil_safari.html to go on a ride through the soil. This section is "Soil Safari."

What are the different discoveries you find with each magnification? Include anything you left out of you soil web that you find in the "Soil Safari."

Why is it important that chemicals are disposed of properly? What might harmful chemicals do to our soil? Why is this important?

Reflect on your plants. Was your hypothesis correct? Why or why not? 


Write a story about a planet where people are not taking care of their soil. What are some things people do that are not good for the soil? What is affected in the soil? If there is no soil, what other living things will not be able to live? What can the people of the planet do to change? Let your soil web and reflections of the "Soil Safari" help you write your story. How does your story compare to the plants you have planted? If the planet does not take care of the soil, will it be able to grow plants in the nutrient-deprived, rocky soil that is left?

If you need extra help visit http://www.clarkswcd.org/Kids/KidsHome.htm#soil it has neat things about conserving soil, water, and wildlife. Just click on the soil tab and it will take you right there.


Description: How to plant a seeds in a pot.

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