Soil Composition Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

If you are discussing soil with your class, use this lesson plan to explore soil composition and layers. Students will watch a video, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity, and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Define soil and list its characteristics.
  • Explain how soil is formed.
  • Describe the different layers of soil.


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.



  • Begin this lesson by asking students if they have ever eaten dirt. If so, ask them to discuss the situation; you will be surprised at the answers.
  • After a lively discussion, explain that they will learn more about dirt also called soil and its composition and layers in this lesson.
  • Distribute a copy of The Formation and Composition of Soil: Definition and Factors lesson, start the video, pause at 00:53, then start the following discussion:
    • Define soil as outlined in the lesson.
    • Why do you think there are so many different types of soil in the United States?
    • List the physical characteristics of soil.
  • Now restart the video, pause at 03:34, then pose the following:
    • Explain why it takes a long time for soil to form.
    • List and explain four factors that affect soil formation.
    • Which factor has the greatest impact? Why?
  • Reconvene the class, play the video until the end, then share these discussion points:
    • What is a soil profile?
    • Define horizon.
    • Discuss the different types of horizons.
  • Next distribute the lesson quiz to demonstrate learning. Require students to complete independently.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account