Dirt doesn’t have to be a dirty word! When we get down to it, soil is actually incredibly important for us! Yes, you and me! That’s because we rely on the health of the soil to grow the food and animals we eat! Check out what Illinois farmers are saying about soil:
Here is a really cool interactive map on Illinois farms. What are Illinois farmers doing for soil conservation? http://heartlandgisweb.com/Illinois_CBMP/conservation-map/v3.2/?story=1068
Read aloud: “What Do Roots Do” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski
What do plants need to survive? Make a list of the things plants need to grow big and strong. I see you have nutrients and water on your list! Great job! Water and nutrients are extremely important for plant growth. Plants don’t have mouths, so how do they take in the water and nutrients? Try out this activity and see! http://www.teaching-tiny-tots.com/toddler-science-celery-experiment.html
The nutrients in the soil are extremely important for plant growth! Although plants can make their own food through a process called photosynthesis, they need additional nutrients as well! Watch this short video to understand how plants get their nutrients.
So what happens if the plants take out too much of the nutrients? Read through these passages to learn about replacing nutrients back into the soil https://naitc-api.usu.edu/media/uploads/2015/02/05/Student_Reading_Handouts.pdf
So why study soil? Try out this interactive lab to see how important absorption of nutrients is in understanding soil health! https://scienceofsoil.org/sorption/index.php
Something for Everyone
Is this how plants feel while they’re growing?
Assessment and Extended Response
- What are some important things that roots do for plants? (intake water and nutrients/minerals, hold the plant in place, etc.)
- How do plants get the nutrients they need? (Their roots take in water and nutrients from the soil, leaves take in sunlight, and the stem moves the water and nutrients from one part of the plant to another)
- Explain how plants get their nutrients.
- What are different methods used to replace nutrients back into the soil? (Crop rotation, composting, organic and inorganic fertilizers, agroforestry)
*Why is it important for farmers to understand the health of their soil?