Garden Science SOIL: Common Core Connection
- Kindergartners learn how to use their five senses and develop science vocabulary. First graders should know both science content and process. They learn about plants and animals and their environments, as well as adaptations and survival. Looking ahead, students in middle school are required to follow precisely a multistage procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3)
- We as parents can support and extend what our children are learning at school with science fun at home.
Soil Experiments are the best done in your early, beginning phases of gardening. Your local garden center can best recommend the soil amendments necessary based on the results of your “It’s not just DIRT” and “What’s My PH?” experiments.
Soil Experiment 1: It’s not just DIRT!
- Kids Garden Gloves
- Soil from your garden
- Kid’s Shovel
- Container (if you want)
- Magnifying Glass Magnifieror Microscope
Directions for Garden Science Soil Experiment #1
1. Scoop up some soil into a container. (soil sampling)
2. Identify the different components that they can see. Make a list orally or in writing.
3. Encourage your children to separate the parts into piles.
4. Examine the remaining small particles of dirt under a microscope or magnifying lens.
Soil Experiment 2: What’s My PH?
(Advanced, better suited for grade schoolers)
The PH level of garden soil will affect how successful your garden plants will grow. Most plants will survive with a PH level between 5.5 and 7.0. So how do you know how acidic or alkaline your soil is? Here is where a PH test kid from your local extension office or home and garden store comes in handy.
1. Sample the soil per the test kit directions.
2. Make predictions on what you think the results will show.
3. Follow the directions provided with the PH testing kit.
4. Read the test results using the provided charts.
5. Compare the results to your predictions. Compare the results to the optimum levels for plant success.
6. Make decisions based on these results to how your soil needs to be changed. (I usually ask the garden center staff for help with this step!)
So, the question for today is…