Soil Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, students will discover the characteristics and agricultural suitability of the a few basic types of soil. They will participate in a growing experiment and will be encouraged to learn about other types of soil.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define 'soil'
  • Identify the most important types of soil
  • Distinguish uses and characteristics of different types of soil


45 minutes for setup, 4 weeks for observation

Key Vocabulary

At the end of this lesson, students should be able to define the following vocabulary terms:

  • soil
  • clay
  • sand
  • silt
  • loam


  • soil (equal amounts of all varieties noted in lesson, enough to provide samples to students and set aside for planting)
  • bean seeds or small plants (at least four)
  • beakers (enough to provide a sample of each type of soil to each group of students)
  • four clear planting jars or beakers

Curriculum Standards


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.


  • Obtain some samples of each type of soil mentioned in the text lesson. If you have any difficulty obtaining these, try visiting your local home and garden center. This is also a good place to purchase a packet of bean seeds or four small, inexpensive plants for use later in the lesson.
  • Distribute the soil samples to groups of students. If your students sit at communal tables or lab stations, place a small sample of each type of soil in the middle of the table. If your students sit at desks, group their desks together so that students have access to a bit of each sample. Ensure you have your own set of samples for use during the activity.
  • To begin, hold a short class discussion (5-10 minutes) asking your students what they know about each type of soil and what they think are its characteristics. Write these characteristics on the board next to each soil type.
  • Have students read the text lesson Types of Soil: Lesson for Kids. Encourage students to interact with each soil type.
  • Hold a short class discussion (5-10 minutes) asking students what they think of the characteristics of each type of soil now. Modify or add to the list already written on the board as the discussion progresses.
  • Have students take the quiz from the text lesson.

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