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Elementary GLOBE Soils Module

Becca Hatheway, Kerry Zarlengo, Lisa Gardiner, Sandra Henderson, Lynne Hehr, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Learning activities help students explore and describe soil, consider what is found in soil such as rocks, roots, critters, and organic material, and explain the importance of soil to plants and animals.

This series of three learning activities take six class periods of 30-60 minutes. Additional materials are required.

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Timing of the activities may take longer depending on the learners' needs and educator's plans.
  • The educator may decide to extend the activities to solicit higher order thinking skills that are supported by observations and the journaling process.
  • In the story book there are several teaching notes throughout and a more thorough background at the end of the book.
  • There is an extensive teaching guide on the GLOBE unit page.
  • This material may be used to enhance and supplement students' access to science knowledge, in a non-science class, through an integrated subject learning process.

About the Science

  • Basic geoscience of soil concepts are presented for the targeted age group and academic level.
  • Through observations, students explore what soil is made of, how it is formed, what the different layers look like, and how it can vary in different locations.
  • The interconnections between soils and living things are established through conversation and matching cards.
  • Observation skills, testing and making predictions, are part of the scientific method used in these activities.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • A story-book narrative is used to engage students in the three lessons that are a part of this resource.
  • Hands-on inquiry/investigation is emphasized in this resource, including looking at real soils, going outside and digging soil pits, and more.
  • The activities include strong discussion and reflection questions to promote understanding as well as further investigations into the subject matters and associated concepts.
  • Creative components of coloring and story writing are part of the activities.
  • Adaptations are available for older and younger students in all of the activities. There are additional activities for extension on the topics in each of the lessons.
  • Though these lessons do not actively address climate science, they help students understand one part of the earth system, and getting kids outdoors at a young age helps build appreciation for the environment, which can, later in life, lead to a desire to help protect the earth.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Soil song link is broken in the resource: actual link.
  • There are five language translations available.

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