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Erin Lawrence Erin Lawrence 2640 Points

I am stuck on how to make teaching soil exciting for 6th graders. If anyone has a sugestion on a resouce or a lab I would welcome the feedback!

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 90058 Points

Hi Erin,
I did a search in the Learning Center and put together a collection of resources geared for middle schoolers on the topic of soil. I also found that there were a few collections already created. I thought the one created by Pam A. was particularly well put together, so I am including it, too. I hope you can find some great ideas within these resources.
Pam A's Collection: Soil Science
My collection: Soil and Middle Schoolers
Check out the Scope on Safety article, too. There are some safety hazards to consider when teaching about soil.
The other soil collection I found is by LeRoy A. It contains a ppt presentation.
Soil Unit
I hope this helps.

Tina Harris Tina Harris 65915 Points

I did summer program for about that age on soils and I found a lot of interesting materials at this website for the National Soil Conservation Service (NSCS): Contact them directly in your area and they can send someone to your school to discuss erosion issues and they are usually very good speakers - just be sure to tell them the age of the audience they are speaking to so they can prepare ahead of time to adjust the language (they tend to spend a lot of time talking to farmers and other adults but they usually like to share with students when they get a chance. There are also some interesting erosion activities in the Project WET book if you or anyone you know has a copy. One of the things that my students found fascinating when we did soils was the fact that they are all different colors and textures. So you might also check with the one of the following for soil samples you can look at under a hand lens (and they may even bring sample soil columns with them!): the NSCS, the Cooperative Extension Service (there is a 4-H project on soils), your state universities. Here in Indiana, Purdue University has dozens (or more!) soil columns from all over the world (in practically a rainbow of colors) and they talk with students about how to make their own little columns from their area. Until I started teaching soils, I had no idea how much fun they could be and all the possible ways to tie them into other subjects.

Erin Lawrence Erin Lawrence 2640 Points

Thank you for these great ideas! I am now looking forward to teaching my soil unit, where as before I would dread it.

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