We really dug into the dirt yesterday as we investigated what soil is and how it’s made. We found out that while all soil is comprised of 4 main elements: minerals, water, air and organic material, it’s structure varies greatly depending on the proportions of each of these elements. Simply by feeling 4 different types of soil (forest loam, garden loam, clay soil and sandy soil) the students were able to quickly determine which two soils plants would thrive in and why. Not only do the forest and garden soils feel lighter, softer, and full of organic material, they also smell better! Students even noticed little critters happily scurrying about in these two soils.
Since much of our soil in B.C. is forest soil, we studied the soil layers found under our forest floor, and we also learned that only about 5% of the land in B.C. is suitable for growing crops. This makes our farmland a precious and yet disappearing resource. Our Grade 4 students have already participated in the process of making new soil by composting garden refuse so they know first hand just how long it takes to make quality new soil. We discussed how all life on earth depends upon the health of our soil and how we should treat our top soil like the pure gold it is!