My hook into the unit is the reading of the story, Dirt Boy. This is a laugh out loud story of Fister Farnello and how his love of playing in the dirt got him into big trouble. You must get this one. Watching the faces of the kids as they hear this story read aloud is really priceless.
Here are the soil samples I gave them. I make sure that it has plenty of organic material in it.
Then the kids were given time to examine the soil and record what they found in it.
We talked about how scientists use their senses to observe matter. They drew pictures and wrote labels to describe what they saw.
They shared their findings with the group and I introduced the words: organic, inorganic and humus. Lots of brand new words associated with this unit. I will share the vocabulary cards on another post.
Yes, this child wrote drew and labeled "poop" as something found in the soil sample. Not sure that's what it was but didn't feel like taking too close of a look myself so we went with it.
Here are the recording sheets we used. I ran it back to back and we folded it to make a booklet.
We categorized what we found as organic or inorganic on the back tree map.
Head here to get these materials to try out with your students: