Lab Aids

Soil Composition and Structure

kit #1102

In this companion to kit # 1101, students continue their exploration of soil. In the first activity, students describe a soil sample, then identify the similarities and differences between their group's descriptions and those of other groups and develop a primary definition of soil. Activity 2 expands the investigation of soils by using a water column to separate soil samples into various components. This data provides more evidence on the types and proportions of the different materials in each soil and allows students to refine their previous definition of soil. Activity 3 is a reading which provides information that expands their personal experience and observations from the previous activities to deepen and refine their understanding of the composition, structure and development of soil.


  • One way to gather data is through direct observation. Accurate and complete observations are important for making conclusions about the natural world
  • Soil consists of weather rocks and decomposed organic materials from dead plants, animals, and bacteria
  • Soils are often found in layers, with each layer made up of a different chemical composition and texture

Content List in Soil Composition and Structure is as follows:

Quantity Description
1 Teacher’s Guide with MSDS
28 Student Worksheet and Guides: How to Measure Length using a Metric Rule
28 Student Worksheet and Guides: Measuring Volume with a Graduated Cylinder
28 Student Worksheet and Guides: Soil Composition and Structure
18 Cups, 9-oz plastic
12 Plastic tubes with caps, Clear
12 3x5 index cards
8 Plastic teaspoons
6 Sieves
6 Cylinders and bases, 50-mL graduated
6 Cups, 30-mL graduated
6 AB trays
1 Soil A, 32-oz. bottle
1 Soil B, 32-oz. bottle
1 Transparency: Comparing Particle Size
Number of students
Number of groups
Maximum 6 groups per period

To complete the three activities in this kit requires three to four ~50-minute class periods.

Title Item # Price Quantity
Soil Composition and Structure 1102 $139.95
Soil Composition and Structure EXPAND-A-KIT 1102EL $10.95