The Great American Soil Project is one that I began ten years ago. Students write and mail friendly letters to a friend or family member to request a soil sample. They will compare their local soil to the samples they receive. In the past, we have received black sand from Hawaii, tar “soil” from the La Brea Tar Pits, and soil from historical sites such as the Mason-Dixon Line. It’s great fun to see the soils and learn about their origins. It’s also great fun for the children to receive snail mail!
This product is designed as a supplement to your existing science materials related to soils’ properties. It is aligned with Tennessee’s state science standards for second grade. It is also aligned with CCSS writing standards for second grade.
Letter to Parents to Request Address, Envelope and Stamp for Letter to a Friend or Family Member (editable PDF)
Information Letter from the Teacher to the Friend or Family Member (editable PDF)
Soil Information Page for Friend or Family Member to Complete and Return
Sample Friendly Letter for Students to Copy
Great American Soil Project Booklet Covers (full and half-page)
Great American Soil Project Booklet Page (full and half-page)
2 Comparing Soils Pages (differentiated)
2 Let’s Make a Mud Ball Pages – Focus on the Scientific Process (differentiated)
2 Making Mud Balls Conclusions Pages (differentiated)
Mud Ball Display Page
Planting Seeds Images for Observing Seed Growth in Different Soils (paste in students’ existing science notebook)
2 Versions of The Best Soil Conclusions Pages (differentiated)
Our Mud Ball Museum Color Mini-Poster
Scientific Process Color Mini-Poster
2 Great American Soil Project Mini-Posters (color and black and white)
2 Pages of Instructions
1 Standards Correlation Page and Graphics Credits
Also, if you need a soil sample from Tennessee, email me! My class would love to be on the other side of this project! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.