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The Dirt on Dirt

Grades 3 - 5

We walk on it, see it blowing in the wind, grow our food in it. Soil! But what is it, really? Guide students through an exciting exploration of the soil beneath their feet wrapped up in 5E lesson plans where students investigate through active learning, then apply their new knowledge to soil as a resource, its importance, and how we can conserve it.

Leveled Readers are available in four Lexile Measures, distinguished by a color key on the back of each reader.

Lexile Levels
Lexile Measure Range 900-1050
Lexile Measure Range 750-900
Lexile Measure Range 600-750
Lexile Measure Range 450-600

Driving Question

What happens to soil when people use it or build on it and why might we care?

Anchor Phenomenon

Soil can be reclaimed and restored to properties that make it useful in an area.

  Investigative Phenomena
–Focus Questions
Real-World Phenomena
Lesson 1
Soil Composition
Focus Question What is soil made of? Real-World Phenomena
  • Soils have various properties, such as texture, color, and odor.
Lesson 2
Soil Components
Focus Question How do the amounts of different materials affect the properties of soils? Real-World Phenomena
  • Soils are made up of different components.
Lesson 3
Soil and Water
Focus Question How does water move through different types of soil? Real-World Phenomena
  • Soils differ in their permeability and rates of absorption of water.
Lesson 4
Soil Layers
Focus Question What does a soil profile show and how are they used? Real-World Phenomena
  • Soil formation is a very slow process, occurring over many thousands of years.
Lesson 5
Soil as a Natural Resource
Focus Question How is soil used and what can affect its quality? Real-World Phenomena
  • Soil is a vital natural resource.
Lesson 6
Saving Soil
Focus Question How can soil be protected or made useful again after negative impacts? Real-World Phenomena
  • People can take action to conserve and restore soil.