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10 The Good Earth Pre-Activity Work File Data Table/ Observations: Note: If you are only observing two distinct layers of soil record your observations in the "uppermost" and "bottom" rows of the data table, leaving the "middle layer" row blank. Thickness of Layer (in cm) Total Thickness Top Layer Middle Layer *If present 6.7 inch Color of Layer n/a

3 inch


2.7 inch

Light brown

1 inch Bottom Layer

Solid brown

Appearance of Water Clear/Cloudy? Color?

If there are things floating in the water list or describe the types of things you observe in the water. n/a

Water in Jar (after settling)


Determining Soil Type

For this part of the lab you will use the soil sample in the zip lock bag (from #2 in the procedure). Take a pinch and rub it between your fingers. 1. Did the soil feel rough/gritty? (yes or no) _________ or did it silky/smooth? (yes or no) _________ 2. Take a handful of your soil. Try to shape it into a ball. Could you? (yes or no) _________ 3. If you answered yes, to #2 does the ball break apart easily without much effort? _______ Go to the resource site below. Scroll down until you see the The Soil Identification Feel Test." Follow the instructions and identify your soil type. Record your soil type here: _____________________________

Follow up: 1. What city and state do you live in? 2. What percentage of the soil you sampled was a. Silt (top layer of soil portion usually very dark black/gray) b. Clay (middle layer of soil portion orange/to light tan) c. Sand (bottom layer of soil portion light tan/gray) To find percentage: Take the layer amount and divide by the total amount. Multiply your answer by 100 to give you percent.

Using the total from the measuring example in the lesson introduction: My Total was 7.7 cm. My middle layer was 3.0 3.0/7.7 = .340 x 100 = 39% You would punch the calculator like this: 3.0 cm divided by 7.7 equals .3896 times 100 equals approximately 39%

Go to the following resource site. You will find a list of representative soils or state soils. Locate your state. Open the HTML version of the page for your state.

1. Name the soil series or representative soil for your state. 2. If the information is given, is this soil unique to your state and how much of the state is covered by this type of soil. 3. Look at the picture of the soil on the left bottom of the page. Use your own words to describe it from the top down. (visible layers, thicknesses, colors). 4. Was your soil type in this lab like the representative type of soil in any way? If so how?