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Adventures in Soil

Page history last edited by Ed Bianchi 9 years, 3 months ago

Adventures in Soil

Click here to view the 2011 video!


Hold on to your hats you are about to go underground. Here we goooooo!!!!


Have you ever wondered where dirt comes from?  And why it is important?  If you don’t know you are about to find out. First I have to tell you a little about the soil.


Finally I get to tell you about where soil comes from!  It comes from crushed or worn away rocks.  It can take 100 to 1,000 years for one cm of soil to go through weathering!  Wow isn’t that cool.


Have you ever thought dirt was dumb?  Well it actually is not.  Dirt is very important in a human’s life because if we did not have it we would be hungry, naked and homeless.  Dirt can be very helpful. 


Please be respectful of the dirt and the living things in the dirt.  Remember dirt can help us in many different ways.  I hope you Know more about dirt now.


Layers of the Soil


Now I will take you down a ladder through the layers of the soil.  Put on your headlight, you need a waterproof suit, a shovel, and you may want boots on your feet.


First Stop in the Layers - Ground Level

This is where plants grow and living things like bobcats stalk chipmunks, rabbits, and squirrels.  The soil is moist because when you get rain it is on the surface.  This is where all of the decomposition cycle takes place.  That is dead plants and animals turning back in to soil.  This is called the organic layer or humus


Second Stop in the Layers - Top Soil

This layer is mostly made of humus, but the particles of soil are smaller.  This is where the new life a plant starts.  it is where the seeds sprout.  Also, roots branch out in this layer.  The soil is dark brown.


Third Stop in the Layers - Subsoil

In this layer there some humus, but now it starts to have more mineral particles.  This layer has lots of healthy soil with plant vitimans [nutrients].  It is where you find the deep roots from plants. This layer is also called the leeching layer.  Clay and minerals stick in this layer as water drians through the heavy soil.   


Fourth Stop in the Layers - Weathered Parent Material

We are deep in the Earth surrounded by rock particles.  In this layer of soil there is no organic matter, which means there are no plant vitamins.


I think this is a cool place to learn about.  A long time ago, this is what the ground level looked like.  Then plants grew.  After a time, plants and animals decomposed to make soil.  The soil built up and you got the layers.   Depending on where you are this process could have taken thousands of years.


Fifth Stop in the Layers - Bedrock

We have to stop going down the ladder because this layer is rock soild.  It will sit here until an earthquake or a volcano pushes it to the top.



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Hop on the Dirt Bus


Come on, get your shovels and magnifying glasses.  Let’s go catch the Dirt Bus.  I am going to take you on a trip.  Let’s go see how many different types of soils there are.  Did you ever think was only one kind?  There’s not, there are actually five.  I will teach you about the color, the size, and the feel of each of them.  Let’s climb onto the bus and get going.



Our first stop will be the forest.  The soil on the forest floor is humus.   Humus is the darkest soil.  It is made of dead stuff that is decomposing.  The humus gives nutrients to the soil that plants need to grow and to stay alive.  Humus is moist.  We are done at the forest, now we will get on the bus and go to the beach.



Now we are going to look at sand.  We are not making sand castles kids, you can come back here with your families to play, sorry but we don’t have time, come on.  Now we are at the sand, the sand layer is the largest particle in the soil.  Sand doesn’t hold a lot of nutrients.  Let's go get back on the bus.



Now we have arrived at Otter Creek.  Let's go down to the bank and dig for some silt.  Silt is a soil particle that’s size is between sand and clay.  When silt is wet it is smooth - not slimy, slippery or sticky.  We will follow the banks of Otter Creek to Lake Champlain.


Lake Champlain

Look at and learn about the clay.  Clay is the smallest of the particles.  Clay can hold a lot of nutrients.  Clay does not let air or water through it easily.   The Abenaki used the clay from Lake Champlain to make pots.  One was found in Lake Champlain near Charlotte.  Maybe you could make some.


A Road

Finally we are going to investigate gravel. The gravel is a lot of beaten up visible rock pieces, it could also be known as pebbles. 


Vermont State Soil

Did you know, Vermont has a state soil.  It is called Tunbridge.  Click on this link and you can read more about it.






Comments (12)

Lori Racha Silverman said

at 11:28 pm on Dec 7, 2009

I had no idea all the different layers under my feet. Great information. Good job!

addiet said

at 11:16 am on Dec 10, 2009

i really liked learning about soil because i am always covered in it!!!!

jerryb said

at 11:18 am on Dec 10, 2009

I had not known about the layers of soil and kinds!

campbellw said

at 11:18 am on Dec 10, 2009

I think this is a really great report! I loveit! :o)

zaqu said

at 11:25 am on Dec 10, 2009

I never knew there were so many layers in the soil! Awesome job!

addiet said

at 11:26 am on Dec 10, 2009

cool script

oliviac said

at 11:26 am on Dec 10, 2009

great job I love it

moirab said

at 11:29 am on Dec 10, 2009

I love it :-) Really great job.

loganj said

at 11:29 am on Dec 10, 2009



sydneyv said

at 11:45 am on Dec 10, 2009

good job!

trevorm said

at 11:25 am on Dec 16, 2009

I like Proffesor soil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jerryb said

at 11:26 am on Dec 16, 2009


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