Part of Unit: Soil Science Principles
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
In this lesson students will learn about the basic soils components, importance of soils,main ideas in land evaluation including: texture, depth, slope and erosion and career possibilities.
- Instructional Time
- 60 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- ANR.C.C10.1 Recognize the major soil components and types.
- ANR.C.C10.2 Understand how soil texture, structure, pH, and salinity affect plant growth.
- ANR.FS.11.0 Demonstration and Application
- ANR.FS.5.3 Use critical thinking skills to make informed decisions and solve problems.
- ANR.FS.9.3 Understand how to organize and structure work individually and in teams for effe...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
Objectives and Goals
- Recognize the major soil components and types.
- Demonstrate and apply knowledge of soil texture
- Communicate learning objectives from power point and lecture regarding intro to soils to partner
- Apply knowledge to flip chart on textures of soils
Activities in this Lesson
- Popcorn, Peanuts & M&M's - Hooks / Set
Prepare a head of time (3) packets, baggies, cups or envelopes of popcorn (1 cup), peanuts (1/4 cup) and m&m's (1/4 cup) - (1) of each kind for each student or a group of students. Also give each student or group of students a clear plastic cup (16 oz).Have students keep the items separate.Have students pour the popcorn into the clear cup, add in the peanuts, put their hand over the top of the cup and shake it up for five seconds.On a sheet of paper have students record their findings. What do they see? Why do they think it is happening? Give them only thirty seconds to write their thoughts.Next add in the m&m's, cover and shake for five more seconds.Once again give students thirty seconds to record their findings and opinions about what is happening.Students should be able to identify that the materials mix based on size and texture.See attached notes page (Approximately 5 minutes) When students are done with this exercise they can eat their materials.
- Popcorn Notes Page [ Download ] Notes page for students to record their observations from the anticipatory set. This page also includes lead in questions to the lecture.
This will give students an introduction to the different types of soil, texture differences, slope and erosion. When you present the materials utilize pair shares to make sure students are engaged and understanding the material. (Approximately 30 minutes including 5-7 (1 minute) pair share opportunities.
- Intro to soils.ppt [ Download ] This power point discusses the basics of soil types, texture, slope and erosion. There is also a notes page for students to record their notes on.
- Soilsintro.doc [ Download ] Notes page to aid in the lecture process.
- soil triangle [ Go to Site ] As you continue with more in depth lessons on soil/s you may find this article on the soil triangle helpful. It could also be used as a visual aid to back up your students' findings when they do the popcorn shake at the beginning.
- Dust Bowl [ Go to Site ] The worst incident of erosion ever documented in United States History is the Dust Bowl. You should definitely talk about this as an example of erosion during your lecture. If you choose not to, make sure you delete the question regarding this topic from the attached quiz that you will find below. The attached document will provide you with helpful information about the erosion caused during the dust bowl.
- Pair Share Information - Lecture
As lecture and notes items are presented stop at the end of each topic area and allow students to share with a partner what has been discussed. This can include, but is not limited to the names of the items discussed, their differences or similarities, descriptions or definitions. The teacher should assign exactly what students will talk about and limit students to 20 seconds each to talk and then return their attention to you. This will break up the monotony of lecture and note taking and keep students engaged. For example: Topic - Soil and its importance. Have each student pick one item off the list and share it with their partner. Make sure you tell them that their item has to be different than their partners. Then ask for two volunteers to name all three.
- Textures of Soil - Ribbon Test - Demo / Modeling
Provide three different soil mediums. One that has a high content of sand, one of silt and one of clay. Show the students how you would conduct a ribbon test. Explain that sandy soil will feel gritty and rough, silty soil will feel smooth and slippery and that soil heavy in clay will feel sticky. As you do the ribbon test make sure to describe that the soil feels like as you roll it around in your fingers. (Approximately 3-5 minutes)
- Student based soil texture activity - Lab / Shop
Provide students with three different soil mediums. Divide the students into groups of 3-4 so they can discuss amongst their group how the soils feel. You will need one that is high in sand, one that it is silty and one that has more clay. Have students conduct the following three tests. As they conduct the tests have them record the results they find and determine a hypothesis on which is sand, silt and clay.Feel test – Rub some moist soil between your fingers.• Sand feels gritty.• Silt feels smooth.• Clays feel sticky.Ball squeeze test – Squeeze a moistened ball of soil in your hand.• Coarse textures (sand or sandy loam) soils break with slight pressure.• Sandy loams and silt loams stay together but change shape easily.• Fine textured (clayey or clayey loam) soils resist breaking.Ribbon test – Squeeze a moistened ball of soil out between your thumb and fingers.• Sandy soils won’t ribbon.• Loam, silt, silty clay loam or clay loam soil ribbons less than 1 inch.• Sandy clay loam, silty clay loam or clay loam ribbons 1 to 2 inches.• Sandy clay, silty clay, or clay soil ribbons more than 2 inches.A soil with as little as 20 percent clay may behave as a heavy clayey soil. A soil needs 45 percent to over 60 percent sand to behave as a sandy soil. (Approximately 10-12 minutes)
- Soil Texture Flip Chart - Projects
Have students fold a piece of paper in half long ways like a hot dog. On the top piece of the fold have students cut three slits. Cut the slits all the way to the crease . On the top of the slits ask students to write the three textures of soil that they have learned about (names only). Under the flap on the underside of where they wrote the name ask them to draw a picture of the material that falls into that category. Lastly, on the bottom of the fold have students list descriptive characteristics of the types of soil. Relate back to popcorn activity and ask students which items represents the particular type of soil on their flip chart. To give instructions (2-3 minutes). Activity should be given as homework as reinforcement for activities completed in class.
- Soils Review Game - Ball toss - Closure
At the end of the period before students leave for the day play a brief review game. One I play often is the ball toss. The teacher is responsible for forming the questions. To start the game toss a ball to any student. Ask the student a question. For example: give one use or purpose of soil. Be prepared to give key words to the students to help them remember what was covered during the lesson. After student gets it right he/she can toss the ball to anyone else in the room. I recommend doing this 10-15 times to review the points covered in class that day. (Approximately 5-8 minutes) Try to call on at least 10 students and possibly play the game as a review tool at the beginning of class the next day if you run out of time.
Intro to Soils Quiz
- Assessment Types:
- Teacher-Made Test,
- Intro to Soils Quiz [ Download ] Quiz is short answer and covers all information provided in the power point, lecture and lab activities. It may be useful for students to make a 3x5 card cheat sheet or help card prior to the quiz.