Teaching through Trade Books: The Dirt on Soilby: Christine Anne Royce

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Have you ever played in the dirt? Repotted a plant? Planted a garden? In each and every one of these activities, you touched something that is a valuable resource in our lives—dirt! This month’s column has students investigating different aspects of something that is right beneath our feet but plays an important role in the daily lives of many organisms.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:09 PM

This article summarizes two excellent trade books that can be used to help students learn about soil and soil composition. In addition to the book summaries, the article includes two lesson plans. The first is a K-3 lesson that enables students to observe different types of soil. The second lesson plan is a 4-6 lesson plan that enables students to create and investigate compost and the effects of different organisms have on soil. I really like the literacy and science aspect of these lessons and look forward to using these books in my classroom soon!

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

  • on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:52 PM

This article provides two experiments that help to bring nature into the classroom. Both activities are hands on and something that students would truly enjoy doing. The article also suggests two useful books that would serve as an excellent set for either activity.


  • on Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:22 PM

I have had an interest in finding ways to bring the natural environment into the classroom for students ever since I was enrolled in the faculty of education. This article explained simple ways to teach young students about soil and how humans, animals, and organisms rely on soil to survive. I plan to take most of the activities out of this article and use them in my future classroom.

Laura R  (Regina, SK)
Laura R (Regina, SK)

  • on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:18 PM

This short article invites teachers to explore the topic of soil with their students using two books 'Dirt' and 'Handful of Dirt' Exploration of types of soil for students in K-3 and compost for students in 4-6. Guidelines for soil safety are included

Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton

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