Go to our new-look site, it combines the Biotechnology and Science Learning Hubs with a new look and new functionality. This is our legacy site and is no longer maintained.

 

Primary Science Week – soil resources

Soil – it’s much more than dirt. Soil keeps us alive. Without soil, we would be hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless and breathless. Soils differ from location to location and are a range of colours. Around 25% of everything alive on Earth uses soil as a habitat.

Soil is also where we dig for treasure. Pick up a spade and see what educational treasures exist in the world beneath our feet.

Soil is the theme for Primary Science Week 16–20 May 2016. The Hub has numerous soil resources to complement the national investigation or for use any time during the year.

The students thought ‘dirt’ was pretty boring until their eyes were opened to ‘soil’ and what lies beneath the ground. They were fascinated to discover roots, glass, worms and clay. What made a huge impact on them was how important soil is to us and the world in which we live.

Teacher

Themes

Following is a sample of the Hub’s resources about soil. Use the Related Content links on each page to get the full story.

Soil is a habitat

Soil is a habitat
Niches within earthworms’ habitat
Student activity: Observing soil microbes
Student activity: New Zealand soil creatures

Did you know there are more things living under the ground in the soil than there are people living above ground? I was amazed by that! It is a bit freaky.

Cate, year 2 student

Soils differ from place to place

Soils are all different
What is in soil?
Soil properties
Soil names
Video: Important soil properties
Student activity: Observing soil differences
Student activity: Dig a hole
Student activity: What makes up soil?
Student activity: Visual soil assessment

We dug a MASSIVE hole, and I didn’t know the ground went that far down. When we went deeper, we found different soil like clay, and it was harder and crumbly. I loved being a scientist.

Flynn, year 2 student

Soil and nutrients

Managing nutrients
Focusing on phosphorus
The role of clover
Video: Phosphorus
Video: The importance of clover
Interactive: The terrestrial nitrogen cycle
Student activity: Nutrient pollution
Student activity: Water and nitrate leaching

Soil is spectacular because it is the main thing to help trees to grow, and trees give us oxygen to breathe. If we didn’t have soil, it could get tricky.

Alyssia, year 2 student

Soils and climate change

Inhibiting nitrous oxide emissions
Farming and environmental pollution
Student activity: Farming and environmental issues

Teacher support materials

Online professional development

Video: SLH and agriculture/horticulture

Download (MP4, 196 MB)

The Hub will offer a webinar before Primary Science Week to explain the concepts and methodology behind the planned national experiment. Check our home page or social media for an announcement closer to the date.

SLH and agriculture/horticulture (archived PD session for years 9 to 13)

Topic planners and unit plans

Topic planners offer a suggested pathway through some of the soils resources on the Science Learning Hub.
Soil theme – Is all soil the same?
Soil theme - Nutrients

Unit plans on earthworms, a common soil animal:
Earthworms (lower primary)
Earthworms (upper primary)

Nature of Science

It is important in science to not only build students’ knowledge and understanding of science but to support them to make connections between science concepts and the world around them. Soil is an ideal context for this as it links to many other aspects of science as well as global and local issues, such as growing food and farming practices.

Useful links

Visit the Hub’s Soil bucket in Pond.
www.pond.co.nz/detail/497989/soil external link

Visit the Hub’s Pinterest board: We dig soil.
www.pinterest.com/nzsciencelearn/slh-we-dig-soil/ external link

Metadata