Soil Testing and Measurement
- analyze what is needed to amend the soil composition for the garden.
- take a soil test of their garden.
- use several instruments of measurement.
- Internet access or garden / plant books from library media center
- Ruler (with centimeters and inches), yardstick & tape measure
Anticipatory Set:Discuss what plants the students see growing now in their garden site. Ask if they think the types of plants they have selected will grow there. How can a person find out what will or will not grow there? How big do they think the garden area is? Have students make estimates of its present size.
- Using the Internet, or a book on plants from the library media center or a garden center, find answers to any questions students may still have about whether the plants they have selected will be able to grow in their garden.
- Tell students that if their soil is not in the best shape for planting plants and flowers, it does not have to stay that way. Explain that plants, like students, can be tested to determine quality. Have students discuss what a soil test might discover about their soil. (If necessary, read this information out of a gardening book.)
NOTE: Testing the soil can be done with a kit and directions obtained from the local Soil Conservation District Office. Core samplers for boring into the soil will be very helpful. If a core sampler cannot be obtained, shovels are a good substitute. Several students can use the core sampler or shovel to collect the many samples needed. These samples are sent away and you will receive a detailed report telling you your soil's needs.
- Have the students compare different units of measurement, a ruler (with centimeters and inches), a yard stick, a tape measure. Ask the students to predict which instrument will be the best to use in measuring the length and width of their garden plot. Assign groups to use each kind of measure.
- Explain the use of a compass to determine geographic direction. Assign a group(s) to determine the geographic orientation of the garden plot.
- Visit the garden site to have the assigned groups collect soil samples, use the different instruments of measurement, determine the geographic orientation.
- After returning to class have each group report their findings. Compare the measurements from each instrument for accuracy and ease of use. Decide if the class predicted correctly which instrument would work best for the job.
- Discuss the importance of the geographic orientation in determining planting priorities for the different height plants.
Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 03. Providing Service
Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.