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Middle School Curriculum

Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info

Studying Soil Scientifically

Studying Soil Scientifically

15-18 (4 weeks)

In the Studying Soils Scientifically unit, students study the properties of different types of soils in the context of preparing a school garden. They investigate soil profiles, organic and inorganic components, use of fertilizers, and soil mapping.

Content in Studying Soil Scientifically is organized into 11 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
1. Into the Field Investigation Students develop skills of observation and scientific language as they become familiar with the equipment used in the book.
2. The Garden Problem Talking it Over Students are introduced to a scenario and analyze the problem of a school garden that will not grow plants.
3. Observing Soil Lab Students observe soil carefully and begin to develop a definition of soil.
4. Soil Columns Lab Using the same soils, students use water to separate the components of soil and further investigate its composition.
5. Soil Composition Reading Students read about the composition of soil and the role of particle size of weathered rocks, organic material, and soil horizons.
6. Describing Soils Scientifically Lab Students scientifically describe the texture, consistency, and color of soils and identify the school soil.
7. Mapping Soils Investigation Students simulate field sampling of soil data and map the soil composition of the United States.
8. The Dust Bowl Role Play Students relate the school garden to the broader issue of farming by learning about the Dust Bowl.
9. Nutrients in Soil Investigation Students investigate the relationship between plants, soil, and nutrients.
10. Organic Matter Test Lab Students test for organic material in the school garden soil.
11. Garden Action Role Play Students decide what to do with the garden and make a proposal to the principal of the school.

LAB-AIDS® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Studying Soil Scientifically Unit:

Studying Soil Scientifically

Student Book

The Studying Soils Scientifically soft cover Student Book guides investigations and provides related readings. The Student Book uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

The built-in assessment system helps teacher’s identify students’ strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the course. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science.

Studying Soil Scientifically

LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook in SEPUP is strongly recommended. The journal not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook consists of 112 three-hole punched pages which allow students to store the completed pages in their binder. It features a 2 column design and plenty of room for notes and responses to Analysis Questions. Graph Anywhere allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time. The Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind.

Studying Soil Scientifically

Complete Materials Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP.

Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.

Studying Soil Scientifically

Teacher's Edition

The Studying Soils Scientifically Teacher’s Edition takes you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher’s Edition is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Edition provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Edition.

Studying Soil Scientifically

Teacher Resource

The Teacher Resource provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing and finally Comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System.

Studying Soil Scientifically

Books Online

Individual, classroom or district licenses can be purchased for access to our student books on-line. It features editable Word documents for each set of Activity Assessment Questions which allows students to e-mail their finished work back to the teacher. Microsoft Word® Tools provide strong support for diverse learners. The Spelling and Grammar Checker uses red and green underline squiggles representing spelling (red) and grammar (green) errors alerting students to potential errors. The Thesaurus helps to refine writing as well as expose students to new vocabulary words. Students with poor spelling skills often have difficulty using a dictionary. This feature provides an instant definition for a highlighted word, eliminating the task of dictionary look-up. Students can also use the Thesaurus to find the synonyms of words.

All pages were created using Adobe Acrobat Reader. A great feature of the Adobe program is “The Read Aloud Function”. The program audibly reads the text, allowing the student to follow the reading on the page. You can speed up or slow down the program based on the student’s ability. This helps all students increase their vocabulary.

Studying Soil Scientifically

ExamView® Test Generating Software

ExamView® for Issues & Earth Science makes it easier for educators to use your content to assess, track, and analyze student performance. Comprised of the Test Generator, Test Manager, and Test Player, ExamView® is the industry standard for paper, Internet, and LAN‐based question and test development.

Test Generator Educators can create assessments, quizzes, study guides, and worksheets using multiple question formats, pictures, tables, graphs, charts, and other multimedia elements. Works exclusively with eInstruction’s CPS™ student response systems for real‐time results.

Test Manager Educators collect results and generate comprehension reports in minutes. Test Manager also manages class rosters and automatically collects performance data from the school network to analyze student results and identify areas of concern.

Test Player Gives students the ability to take tests and view study guides over the school network. ExamView® adds even more benefits to your content.

QuickTest Wizard New tests can be created in a matter of minutes with easy step‐by‐step navigation. Simply select the question banks and the number of questions and ExamView® does the rest.

Style Gallery ExamView® tests can be easily formatted to match state or national standardized tests. Simply choose a layout based on predefined formats (e.g., TAKS, FCAT, GED, GMAT, NCLEX, etc.) and print a comprehensive answer sheet.

Multiple Question Formats ExamView® supports 14 question formats. An ExamView® question can contain pictures, graphs, charts, tables, and other multimedia elements. You can create dynamic questions (algorithms) for any subject area which allow infinite customization of a question using mathematical definitions.