Studying Soil Types

This term we have been looking at different types of soil.

What is soil?

Soil is the loose upper layer of the Earth’s surface where plants grow. Soil consists of a mix of organic material (decayed plants and animals) and broken bits of rocks and minerals.

One week we bought in some soil samples from home. We then worked in groups of 3 to look at our samples closely. This was very interesting because everyone could see something different in each soil type. We had to do the following….

  • Look at the soil and describe characteristics such as colours and layers.
  • Spread the soil on a piece of paper and look for details such as types of particles and leaves
  • Use the magnifying glass to look at particles closely
  • Rub the soil between fingers to feel its consistency


The next lesson involved looking at 3 different soil types; sand, silt and clay. Our investigation question was ‘How much water do different soils hold?’

We set up three filter systems using empty plastic bottles, chux cloth and cups. Each filter system was for one soil type. We placed a cup of each soil in each bottle along with a cup of water. We then timed for 10 minutes to see how much water would move through each soil type. After the 10 minutes were up we used measuring cups to measure how many millilitres were in each cup.

We all discovered that clay allowed the least amount of water to pass through into the cup. Most of us found that sand allowed the most amount of water to pass through into the cup, however silt was very close behind with this.

IMG_1739 from skye baldwin on Vimeo.

What the results tell us about these soil types….

Next lesson we talked about our results and the reasons why. Sand has the largest sized particles between the three, followed by silt then clay.

The larger the particles, the more gaps there are between each one which makes it easier for the water to pass through the soil type.

People use this knowledge and undertaking of soil to help them with planting certain species of plants in different areas. A good knowledge of soil types is also needed when building houses because you need to make sure the foundation is stable.

We will continue to look more into soil this term to see what else we can learn and discover.

What did you learn about with the 3 soil types?

How does knowing about different soil types help people in society?

4 thoughts on “Studying Soil Types

  1. Dear Mrs Baldwin,
    I learned that the smaller the particle size the slower the water goes through and I also learned about all three types of soil.
    It helps people in society know witch soil will let water go through and which one wouldn’t.
    From JamesM

  2. Dear Mrs Baldwin,
    I learnt that sand has the most chunks/Bits.Clay has the least chunks/Bits.

    It helps society because when you are building and watering you no if the soil will leak quickly or slowly when it is with water.

    From Matilda🐬

  3. Dear Mrs Baldwin,
    I learnt that sand is actually has bigger particles than silt and clay I also learnt that silt is middle sized and that clay has the smallest particles but when it gets wet it will stick together. It help the people in society because people will know we’re to plant there plants and we’re not to.

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