"The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life." ― Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
Save Our Soils is an exciting half day incursion designed to give students an understanding of the way in which scientific processes can help us to understand the impacts of our actions on our immediate environment. The incursion can work well as an introduction to the unit or as consolidation before assessment.
In an introductory activity, students discover the ingredients that make up healthy soil and begin to understand that the description of its properties can help us decide which ingredients may be present in a soil sample.
Students use their acquired knowledge of where the ingredients that make healthy soil come from before making a justified prediction about which of three sites around school may have the healthiest soil. Exploration of the school grounds provides the opportunity to make observations and test to establish the presence of the four main ingredients.
As part of their observations in the field, students consider how human activities can cause erosion of the Earth's surface and consider what can be done to mitigate this.
Finally, we make conclusions based on our observable results and consider ways in which the school community can take measures to ensure that eroded areas are protected into the future.