This week we're continuing our work on rocks by looking at soil and what it's made from. After going through the presentation, watch the video and have a go at the investigation.
For your investigation, you're going to examining soil and seeing what you can observe. Collect soil samples from a couple of different places - if you're able to find different types of soil, that's great! Don't worry if you can't, though, as even several spots in a garden can show differences. If you can't go to find some soil yourself, see if someone else can get some for you.
Once you've found your soil samples, complete the investigation on the worksheet. You may also want to have a go at the optional activity below! You'll need to observe closely, looking for different parts of the soil as well as feeling it and smelling it. Can you identify living things, things that used to be living and things that have never been alive? Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after touching any soil.
Optional - If you are able, put some of the soil in a clear container (preferably with a lid, such as a jam jar) and cover it with water before shaking it/stirring it vigorously for about five minutes. Let the soil settle for an hour and then have a close look! What can you see? Draw a picture of your container.
When you have completed your investigations, think about your soil samples - do you think a plant would grow well in it? Why/why not? Which of the below soils do you think would be good for growing plants? Which soil type do you think your sample is?
Clay - heavy, high in nutrients, wet and cold in winter and baked dry in summer
Sandy - light, dry, warm, low in nutrients
Silt - fertile, light but holds on to water, easily compacted
Loam - mixtures of clay, sand and silt that avoid the extremes of each type
Peat - high in organic matter and moisture
Chalky - may be light or heavy