Science

Grade 2            Unit 2    SOILS    (based on STC Kit)

 

INTRODUCTION

Soils can easily be described by their color, texture and capacity to retain water.  Understanding soils helps us to also understand how the growth of certain plants is supported or inhibited by where they grow and in what substance.  Soils support the growth of many kinds of plants, including those in our food supply.  Understanding the properties of soil enables us to better understand the environment in which we live.

 

SCIENCE STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

Content Standard 2.3:  Earth materials have varied physical properties which make them useful in different ways.

 

A21:  Sort different soils by properties, such as particle size, color and composition.

 

A22:  Relate the properties of different soils to their capacity to retain water and support the growth of certain plants.

 

SCIENCE INQUIRY: Scientific inquiry is a thoughtful and coordinated attempt to search out describe, explain and predict natural phenomena.

 

SCIENCE LITERACY: Science literacy includes speaking listening, presenting, interpreting, reading and writing about science.

 

SCIENCE NUMERACY: Mathematics provides useful tool for the description, analysis and presentation of scientific data and ideas.

 

EXPECTED PERFORMANCES

AINQ.2 Use senses and simple measuring tools to collect data

AINQ.4 Read, write and speak about observations of the natural world.

AINQ.9 Count, order and sort objects by their properties. 

 

BIG IDEA

Soil is made of three different things and supports plant life in different ways.

 

LINKS TO OTHER STANDARDS

LANGUAGE ARTS

1.2.b.  Interpret information that is implied in a text

1.3.d.  Develop vocabulary through listening, speaking, reading and writing.

3.2.d.  Research information from multiple sources for a specific purpose.

 

Key Vocabulary:  soil, silt, clay, particles, properties, organic, textures, habitat, compost


 

SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARD 2.3

CONCEPTUAL THEME:

The Changing Earth - How do materials cycle through the Earth's systems?

 

CONTENT STANDARD:

2.3 – Earth materials have varied physical properties which make them useful in different ways.

 

GRADE-LEVEL CONCEPT 1: u Soils can be described by their color, texture and capacity to retain water.

GRADE-LEVEL EXPECTATIONS:

1.     Soil is a mixture of pieces of rock (particles), living and once living things (humus), water and air. The components of soil can be separated using sieves and settlement tests.

2.     There are different types of soil that vary from place to place.  Soil properties can be observed and compared.  Soils can be classified by properties such as color, particle size, or amount of organic material (humus). Digging a deep hole shows that soils are often found in layers that have different colors and textures. 

3.     The size of the particles in soils gives the soil its texture.  Soils can be classified by how they feel: Sandy soils feel gritty, silty soils feel powdery, clay soils feel sticky, and soils with small rocks feel rough and scratchy.

4.     The broken rocks that make up soils can be tiny (silt and clay), medium (sand), or large (pebbles).  Soils can be classified by the size of their particles. 

5.     A soil’s texture affects how it packs together; soils that pack together tightly hold less air and water than soils that stay loosely packed.

6.     There are different types of soil that vary from place to place.  Some soil types are suited for supporting the weight of buildings and highways; other soil types are suited for planting food crops or forest growth.

GRADE-LEVEL CONCEPT 2: u Soils support the growth of many kinds of plants, including those in our food supply.

GRADE-LEVEL EXPECTATIONS:

1.     Many plants need soil to grow. Soil holds water and nutrients that are taken in (absorbed) by plant roots. 

2.     Soil is a habitat for many living things.  Some organisms live in the soil and others live on the soil.  Worms and other underground animals create spaces for air, water and plant roots to move through soil.

3.     Plants we eat (“crops”) grow in different soil types. Plant height, root length, number of leaves, and number of flowers can all be affected by how much water, air and organic material the soil holds.

4.     To support the growth of different plants, people can change the properties of soils by adding nutrients (fertilizing), water (irrigating) or air (tilling).

KEY SCIENCE VOCABULARY:  soil, property, classify, mixture, particle, humus, sand, silt, clay, texture, nutrients

CMT EXPECTED PERFORMANCES

 

A21

Sort different soils by properties, such as particle size, color and composition.

A22

Relate the properties of different soils to their capacity to retain water and support the growth of certain plants.

 

 

ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE:

 

CONCEPTS

 

SKILLS:

·      Performing simple tests to describe and identify soil components.

·      Observing, recording, and organizing test results.

·      Interpreting test results to draw conclusions about soil components.

·      Reflecting on test results to predict how plants will grow in different so

·      Assembling laboratory materials for soil experiments.

·      Communicating results and ideas through writing, drawing and discussion.

·      Applying previously learned concepts and skills to analyze unfamiliar soil samples.

 

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO GUIDE INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT:

 

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES

 

OBJECTIVES AND GOALS (as summarized from STC Kit, “Soils”)

 

LESSON ONE

What is in Soil?

 

LESSON TWO

Where do dead plants go?

 

LESSON THREE

Introducing Sand, Clay and Humus

 

LESSON FOUR

When Soils Get Wet

 

LESSON FIVE

More About Wet Soils

 

LESSON SIX

How Quickly Do Soils Settle in Water?

 

LESSON SEVEN

More Settling a Few Days Later

 

LESSON EIGHT

What is Your Mystery Mixture?

 

LESSON NINE

Growing Plants in Different Soils

 

LESSON TEN

Why Do Plants Have Roots in Soil?

 

LESSON ELEVEN

Can Soil Hold Water?

 

LESSON TWELVE

How Water Moves through Sand and Clay

 

LESSON THIRTEEN

Opening the Compost Bags

 

 

LESSON FOURTEEN

Exploring Your Local Soil

 

LESSON FIFTEEN

More About Your Local Soil

 

LESSON SIXTEEN

What is Your Local Soil?

·      Students compare and record plant growth in sand, clay humus and local soil.

·      Students complete their plant logbooks.

·      Students make a class chart to compare plant growth in the same kind of sample.

·      Students observe and discuss differences in seedlings grown in the same kind of sample.

·      Students summarize their investigation of local soil.

·      Students create a local soil book with their record sheets.

 

Significant Task

 

Post Unit Assessment

Overview:  This post-unit assessment is matched to the pre-unit assessment.  In Lesson 1, students developed two lists, “Soil” and “Questions about Soil.”  Now they again will refer to these questions and may discover realizations and conclusions though what they have done.

 

Materials:  For each student there should be a Science Journal

For the class there should be 2 sheets of newsprint, the Soil and Questions Charts from Lesson 1, markers and tape

 

Procedure:  Be sure the old charts are not visible at first in this assessment.  Label one of the blank sheets “Soil” and the other “Questions about Soil” and date them.

 

1)     Have students repeat what they have done in Lesson 1.  They also should write down what they now know about soil in their science journals.  Allow plenty of time for writing and drawing.  Assist students in making recollections and connections to the experiments they have done.

2)    Students will compare these journal activities with those from lesson one, noticing recurring ideas or answers to posed questions.

3)    Students will share new journal entries with the class.  Record their responses on the blank “Soil” char.

4)    Post the old “Soil” chart.  Point out the similarities and differences and how they have learned answers to many of the questions.

5)    Post the original “Questions about Soil” and ask students which of these questions they now know answers to.

6)    Finally, ask students if there are still pending questions they have about soil, and post these on the BLANK “Questions about Soil” chart.  Let them know that in science, it is acceptable to have unanswered questions and that at times, finding answers can lead to new curiosities.

 

RUBRIC (can be used if desired):

 

Name: ________________________

Teacher:

Date : ___________________

Title of Work: ___________________

 

Criteria

Points

 

1

2

3

4

 

Final Assessment: Soils

Student responses show little to no understanding of main concepts regarding soils, the components of soil and how soils effect growth of plants; responses are unclear and do not cite examples to support ideas.

Student responses show some understanding of main concepts regarding soils, the components of soil and how soils effect growth of plants; responses may be unclear and cite few examples to support ideas.

Student responses adequate understanding of main concepts regarding soils, the components of soil and how soils effect growth of plants; responses are clear and cite some examples to support ideas.

Student responses show mastery of concepts taught. Students use vocabulary properly, show understanding of soils, the components of soil and how soils effect growth of plants. Students also show ability to cite examples to support points of view and can verbalize understandings clearly.

____

 

 

 

 

Total---->

____

Teacher Comments:

Common Misconceptions:

·      Weathering and erosion are synonymous.  Weathering is caused by weather changes.  Erosion is caused by wind, water or friction.

·      Still showing up in some popular garden literature is the notion that "day-watering can burn plants."  The notion says that sunlight is "magnified by the water drop on the leaf to cause a leaf burn.

·      Soil appears out of nothing.  No, it doesn't just appear out of nowhere. A magician doesn't wave a magic wand and...poof!... soil shows up. And it's not made in a soil factory. Soil comes from broken up pieces of rock and dead leaves, tree limbs, and dead bugs-those kinds of things.

·      Soil is brown.  Actually, not true, soils can come in black, red, yellow, white, brown, and gray.

 

Sample Literacy Component

 

What’s the difference between soil and dirt?

Dirt is what you find under your fingernails. Soil is what you find under your feet. Think of soil as a thin living skin that covers the land.  It goes down into the ground just a short way.  Even the most fertile topsoil is only a foot or so deep.  Soil is more than rock particles.  It includes all the living things and the materials they make or change.

 

 

 

 


Soil Profile


Ground level: Plants grow and animals live here.  A thick cover of plants can keep the soil cool and keep it from drying out.  Decomposers,  or living things that use dead plants and animals for food, recycle dead plants and animals into humus.

Topsoil:  Plants grow and animals live on top of the soil.  This is sometimes called the organic layer.  Organic matter are things in the soil that are living or were once living.  A thick cover of plants can keep the soil cool and keep it from drying out.  Once again, the decomposers recycle dead plants and animals into humus.

Subsoil: This is a mix of mineral particles and some humus near the top.  Subsoil is very low in organic matter compared to the topsoil.  This is the layer where most of the soil's nutrients are found.  Deep plant roots come here looking for water.  Clays and minerals released up above often stick here as water drains down.

Weathered parent material: This layer can be very deep.  There's no organic matter here at all.  There are no living or once living organisms down here.  It's all rock particles, full of minerals.

The entire soil profile used to look like this all the way to the surface. Physical weathering broke the parts of soil into small pieces.  Don't be fooled!  This layer may contain rock particles that are different from the bedrock below.  A river or a glacier might have brought it from somewhere else.

Bedrock:  We finally found solid rock!  The bedrock formed before the soil above it.  It will wait here until erosion or an earthquake exposes it to the surface.  Then some of it will be weathered to become the next batch of soil parts.  The soil-making process will start all over again.

 

 

 

 

Taken from http://school.discovery.com/schooladventures/soil/down_dirty.html

 

 

 

Strand Questions for Use with “What’s the Difference Between Dirt and Soil”

 

A1 – What is the section of the article called “Bedrock” mainly about?

A2 – The first paragraph is mostly a description of _________________.  Finish the sentence and show details from the text that support your answer.

A3 – Briefly summarize the main points of the article in the order that they occur.

A4 – If the author added another section to this article, what would it most likely be about?

 

 

 

 


B1 – Which of these graphics below best shows how this article is organized?

 

B2 – What is the author’s purpose in writing this article?

B3 – Do you think soil can be described as living?  Use information from the article to support your answer.

 

 

 

C1 – If the author of this passage visited your school, what would you like to ask him or her and why?

C2 – Which part of this article is the most important?  Use information from the article and your own life to explain why you chose that part.

 

 

 

D1 – Choose two words or phrases from the paragraph called “topsoil” that help you FEEL/TOUCH what the author is explaining.

D2 – Using information from the story, write a journal entry that may have appeared in the diary of naturist John Muir as he studied soils and plants.

D3 – Why do you think the author chose this topic to write about?

 

RESOURCES

Web Sites

·      http://soil.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html

·      http://www.pedosphere.com/volume02/main.html

·      http://www.stormloader.com/geocoop/soils.htm

·      http://www.metla.fi/info/vlib/soils/old.htm

·      http://www.hintze-online.com/sos/soils-online.html

·      http://soil.gsfc.nasa.gov/env.htm

·      http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/28dec_truefake.htm

 

Literacy Books

·      Recycle: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons

·      City Green by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan (Illustrator)

·      Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson

·      Growing in the Garden: Outdoor Classrooms for Young Gardeners

·      Dirt Made My Lunch by Banana Slug String Band   

·      Secrets of the Soil by Peter Tompkins, Christopher Bird

·      Winter Wheat by Brenda Z. Guiberson, Megan Lloyd (Illustrator)

 

Extension Activities

·      Studying organisms that you may find in soil, Appendix B

·      Sand Paintings, Appendix C

 

Field trips

·      Edgerton Park Greenhouse

·      Local Farm

·      Local restaurant that uses a compost bin

 

Links to United Streaming – www.unitedstreaming.com

Getting to Know Soil (23:00)

Dr. Dad's PH3: Episode Eleven: Soil and Agriculture (14:52)

Geologist's Notebook: How to Make Mud Pie (11:00)

Worm Farm (01:02)

Rocks: The Solid Earth Materials #1 (20:00)