Monday, May 7, 2012

Types of Soil Investigation and Printable

Hello All! I wanted to first say a big thank you to Matthew and the editorial team over at Accelerated Degree.  They nominated Third Grade Thinkers for the "Most Fascinating Blog of 2012" in the Elementary Teacher category.   In order to be recognized for this award, the blog must inspire its audience, encourage discussion and include genuinely fascinating content.  I was flattered that they think this blog does all of that. I seriously just use it to share my stuff with other teachers who might be able to use it.  I appreciate the thought behind the nomination though! Thanks so much!
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Now onto science, we continued to work through our soil unit today. In previous lessons we learned what soil is and we discovered that soil is formed in layers or horizons. Today we took a close up look at the different types of soil. We worked specifically on comparing and contrasting sand, silt and clay.
Students worked with a lab partner and used magnifying glasses to examine the particles of each type of soil.  They discovered that sand's particles are the largest, the silt's particles are a bit smaller and finally that clay's particle size is the smallest.
They recorded their observations on this lab report sheet.  They worked like real scientists, using their sense of sight and touch to examine each type.
We ended up creating a quick word bank to help generate texture and appearance words.  This was a good review of physical characteristic words that we covered way back in the first grading period.
They thought the clay was the coolest and wanted to "play" with it afterwards.  This kid created a little alien man from his clay sample.  I probably could have bagged it and sold it in my classroom store!!(:  Silly kids!

Here is the lab report sheets.  You would need to download both sheets from Scribd and then I run them back to back in the copy machine.  Students folded in half to make a booklet.  I added some released SOL questions on the back of the sheet too.
Soil Types 20001 Soil Types 10001


  1. We do something similar. Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for your soil ideas! Since science and social studies are not part of the Core Curriculum, it can be hard to find teachers who teach 3rd and the same concepts!

  3. Awesome resource! I would love to use this but I can't find the observation worksheet. Can you please post it. Thanks


  4. This looks amazing, but I can't see the observation worksheet. I would love to use this activity! Is there any way that you can post this again or send this to me? Thank you!

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  6. I am interested in your observation worksheet as well. Would you mind re-posting it? Thank you in advance :)

  7. Where did you find you find sand, silt, and clay samples

  8. Where did you find you find sand, silt, and clay samples

  9. You can find this teacher's entire unit on TPT: