Soil Experiments and Hands-on Projects
Use grape Kool-Aid to learn how "Soil is a Filter" and how important soil is for clean drinking water.
Soil Texture Lesson and Activity - Developed by SSSA, this lesson and activity introduces the concept of soil texture and particles sizes and contains an activity on Soil Texture (from New Mexico State Univerity)
Soil Color Lesson - Developed by SSSA, this lesson and activity introduces the concept of soil colors and contains an activity on making Soil Crayons (from USDA).
Particle Size Using water, soda bottles, and soil, students can use "the bigger they are, the faster they fall" principle to find out whether sand, silt, or clay is made of larger particles.
Make your own profile - Students create a model of a soil profile using card stock, carpet tape, and soil samples from different horizons.
Paint with Soil Instructions for how to make paints of wondrous colors using soil. (Note: To get soils of different colors it is often necessary to dig below the topsoil in several locations.)
Soil Aggregates Activity uses glass jars, water, hardware cloth and soils to demonstrate how organic matter helps stabilize soils.
Berlese Funnel - find out how many bugs and other critters live in your soil.
Soil Air – USDA-NRCS K-12 Lessons This simple demonstration allows students to see air in soil and compare the air content of soils from different sites in their area.
Soil Facts – USDA-NRCS K-12 Lessons Definitions of soil and soil survey, information on careers in Soil Science, and information on soil formation and classification.
Soil Quotations – USDA-NRCS K-12 Lessons The importance of soil to life and culture is illustrated by quotes from people like Leonardo DaVinci, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Indigo Girls.
Dirt Pudding – Dr. Dirt's K-12 Teaching Resources and Activities An edible soil recipe to teach about soil horizons. With patience and creativity different types of soil pedons can be made, as shown in the pictures.
Soil as a Sponge – Dr. Dirt's K-12 Teaching Resources and Activities A sponge in water is used to demonstrate many types of soil water interactions.
Perkin' Through the Pores – Utah AITC Dirt: Secrets in the Soil Lessons and activities about how different soils let water move through them and hold onto water differently. Designed for elementary students, but many parts appropriate for middle school.