(This project can be done indoors or outdoors)
We’ll look at three types of Soil—Clay, Loam, and Sand.
Materials- Sand, clay, loam, sponge, coffee filters, (3) 2 liter bottles made into funnels and containers for each group, kool-aid or other coloring for water, water pitcher.
Learn that different soils have different properties (some filter, some soak up water, some trap water)
Discover that soils physically and chemically filter impurities out of water.
Discover the role of soil in having ponds, lakes and clean water.
Introduction and Questions:
Soil can be a filter, a sponge, and a container.
Sand can be a Filter
What is a filter? (Show a coffee filter or a fish tank filter to explain.)
Sandy Soil is loose and very gritty. Forming a ball is almost impossible. (Show sand and try to make a ball)
Compare sand to filter by placing sand in pint container and pouring water (colored) into it.
Clay can be a Container
Clay Soil feels smooth and sticky. It forms ribbons when pressed between your fingers. (Show clay and squeeze between fingers)
If you wanted to make a pond in your yard, would clay be a good choice?
Make bottom for the pint container with clay and pour water into it.
Loam can be a Sponge
Loam Soil is smooth, slick, partially gritty, and sticky. It forms a ball that crumbles easily. It’s like a blend of clay, sand, silt, and others.
Compare loam to a sponge by pouring water into container up to mark, then pouring water into loam and comparing how much water it soaked up.
If you were planting a garden, would loam be a good choice?
In the world, sand is used in filters, clay is used for pots and ponds, and loam is used for farming and gardening. If you were trying clean water, what would you use? If you were trying to keep water from flowing away, would you want a parking lot, or a garden full of loam? If you were trying to build a fish pond, would you use sand? Loam? Clay? Maybe all three? (Clay for the pond bottom, loam to put plants in, and sand for a filter).