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Students DIG Soil

September 15, 2017

Over 80 4th grade students from Echo Hill have participated in our Linn County Education Outreach soils unit. A big thanks to Mrs. Russel and Mr. Kreher for inviting Linn County Farm Bureau to partake in science class. We had a lot of fun interacting and educating the students about the importance of soils and the many benefits it provides us. Would you like to bring agriculture to your classroom? Checkout the lesson below and message Morgan Ball at mball@ifbf.org to set up a visit. 

Day one: students identified the components of soil by dissecting a sample to demonstrate that soil contains minerals, organic matter, air and water. 

 

Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • Explain how the interaction of the sun, soil, water, and weather in plant and animal growth impacts agricultural production.

  • Recognize the natural resources use in agricultural practices to produce feed, feed, clothing, landscaping plants, and fuel.

Education Content Standards

  • 4-ESS2-1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

Day two: students determined the water holding and draining capacities of different soils and investigated how organic matter affects the amount of water soil will hold.

 

Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • Recognize the natural resources use in agricultural practices to produce feed, feed, clothing, landscaping plants, and fuel.

Education Content Standards

  • 5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways in which the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

  • 5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment

Day three: students explored the rain drop splash (splash erosion) to determine its impact on bare soil, ultimately being able to visually identify types of erosion.

 

Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  • T1.3-5.c Identify land and water conservation methods used in farming systems.

  • T1.3-5.a Describe similarities and differences between managed and natural systems.

Education Content Standards

  • 3-ESS2-1 Represent data in tables and graphical displays to typical weather conditions.

  • 4-ESS1-1 Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

  • 4-ESS2-1 Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

DYK on average it takes 500 years to produce one inch of top soil? To wrap up our soils unit we discussed soil conservation techniques.

 

 

No-till: Growing crops without disturbing the soil 

Strip-till: Utilizes minimum tillage 

Contour farming: Planting across a hill rather than up and down

Conservation crop rotations: Growing a series of different types of crops 

Cover crops: A crop planted primarily to manage the soil 

 

"We are part of the earth and it is part of us... what befalls the earth befalls all of the sons of the earth," Chief Seattle, 1854. Illinois Ag Mag on Soil. 

 

Farmers are taking the steps to protect our soils as we carry on to the next generation. Let us all take the steps to protect our lawns, parks, and farm fields from erosion. 

 

 

 

 

 

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