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Digging Through Dirt

Today in science we started one of my all-time favorite units. . .
Terrarium Habitats!
We began by thinking about what is actually in soil and making some predictions.
Then students each took a spoonful of soil and used their senses (all except taste 馃檪 ) to make observations.
They sprayed their soil with water, smelled it, touched it, looked at it through a magnifying glass, and listened to the sound it made when they rubbed some if it between their fingers.
They LOVED digging through their dirt!
As students made their observations, they recorded them down in their special terrarium notebooks.
Next, we did a soil profile test.
We made predictions about what would happen when we mixed our soil with water and alum (which helps the soil separate), then we tested it out!
They each got their own vial to put all the materials in.
After shaking it all up, they let it set and this is what they got!
We discussed what was happening and they figured out that the lighter materials were floating and the heaving ones were sinking!

We will be keeping our eyes on these the next few days to see if we notice any changes.


Later this week we will be taking a closer look at earthworms, and for next week…
I’ve got some lovely little guys being delivered in the mail! 馃檪
All the activities from this unit are from this Terrarium Habitats book. It is amazing and has step-by-step instructions and pictures! And even better, it covers standards and has activities for students from Kingergarten through 6th grade!

There is an entire Terrarium Habitats kit by GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) that is available from Carolina that includes everything for $344. I got mine a couple years ago for participating in a grant study and would highly recommend it if you are interested in doing a unit on terrariums! I just rinse everything off when we were done with it and reuse it all again the next year!

If you don’t want to buy the whole kit you can find a lot of the supplies you need at local stores. You can even order parts of the kit separately if there is anything you can’t find on your own.

  1. Jill says:

    This looks awesome! Thanks for mentioning the book, because I'm sure my next year class would love this!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  2. April Walker says:

    This looks really interesting!

    April @ ideabackpack.blogspot.com

  3. Way to make soil more interesting! Whoo hoo!

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