Erosion and Soil Particles

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Fourth grade students at Murphy Elementary School are studying Rocks and Minerals during their Science class. The students also must understand erosion and what is in our soil.

Students have done hand texturing to learn what particles were present or more present in their soil sample:  clay, silt, or sand. First they were taught how to read a soil texturing chart. Then we had fun with balls of soil(mud) for them to see what kind of soil they had by following the soil texturing chart. Most of the students decided they had a silty clay soil.


Students also examined soils that were different types in bottles that had been separated by settling. The jars had been prepared ahead of time with 4 different soil types, water, and powdered detergent(which helps to separate the soil particles). The students then had to draw and label the jars according to the amounts of sand, silt, and clay present. This was another way for the students to learn about the size of the particles of soil and that the larger particles, sand, went to the bottom of the jars and the clay particles which are the smallest settled on top.

BareSoilErosionBox GrassErosionBox

4-H agent, Shannon Coleman, also provided some hands on examples of erosion using boxes she built for the students to see what happens when soil is left uncovered.

After the experiment with the soil boxes students went on a walk to the river to look at stream bank erosion and to see examples of erosion and sediment in our local rivers.


Students at Murphy Elementary will be continuing these lessons with some more hands on programs provided by the NC State Extension Agents. We will also be providing students at Peachtree Elementary with some of these same lessons.