Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learn to Observe - Checkout Your Soil and Earn a Reward

Sand, silt, and clay are the basic types of soil. Most soils are made up of a combination of the three. The texture of the soil, how it looks and feels, depends upon the amount of each one in that particular soil. The type of soil varies from place to place on our planet and can even vary from one place to another in your own backyard.  The surface rocks break down into smaller pieces and are mixed with moss and organic matter. Plants help the development of the soil. How?  The plants attract animals, and when the animals die, their bodies decay making the soil thick and rich.  


Using a shovel, gather one or two cups of soil from your your home or farm and place into a Ziploc plastic bag.  (Try to dig your shovel into the ground at least 5 or 6 inches.)
Examine your soil sample and record your answers to these questions on a sheet of paper
  • Does all of the soil appear the same ?  If not, what differences do you see ?
  • What color is the soil?  (Try to be VERY specific)
  • How would you describe the texture?  Is it sandy or does it feel more like clay?
  • Do you see anything living in the soil?  (Use a magnifying glass to observe if possible)

Bring your bagged soil sample and your written answers to class on Friday, 23 September to receive a reward!