From Rock to Soil
Related Standards of Learning 3.7d
The students should be able to explain how soil forms over time.
Ask the students how they think soil forms, and list their responses on the board. Lead a class discussion on the topic, prompting them to mention the various components of soil.
Give each student a plastic egg and a sugar cube, and have him/her place the cube (representing a rock) inside the egg.
Explain to the students that they will be shaking the egg to simulate weathering and erosion of the “rock” by the action of wind, water, and plant roots over time. Let the students shake the eggs for several minutes.
Have the students open the eggs, pour out the “soil,” and draw a picture of their observations.
Then, have them place the larger portions of the sugar cube back into the egg and repeat the process.
Have the students examine their particles of “soil” to identify each small grain as a soil particle and the larger pieces as pebbles, rocks, etc.
Have the students draw or write about what their parent “rock” looks like after each shaking.
What do you think Soil is?
Why is Soil Important?
Emits and absorbs dust and gases
Source of gas, and stores gas
Records human activities at present and from the past
What Makes Up Soil?
- Solid and made of minerals