Major Funding The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

Soil: Standards

Idaho Common Core State Standards

Here are correlations to the National Common Core Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. If you'd like, you may go directly to the Idaho science standards for this topic. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Language standards, or the Common Core Math standards.



CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.4 [CCSS page]

Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.

Suggested Lesson:

Touch and feel different soil material. Discuss the difference in color, texture and location. Identify the layer each comes from.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2 [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Suggested Lesson:

Draw a diagram of the layers of soil giving definitions and descriptions of each layer.

Sixth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.2.a [CCSS page]

Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Suggested Lesson:

Visit this State Soils interactive and compare/contrast soil found in different areas of the United States. Provide details, descriptions and create a unique way to share your findings.


First Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.C.4 [CCSS page]

Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Suggested Lesson:

Analyze the grains of material is different samples of soil. Sort topsoil, sand, clay, humus, and rock.

Second Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.A.1 [CCSS page]

Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.

Suggested Lesson:

Dig up several soil samples from various sites. Carefully, lay them on trays. Dig down to retrieve at least 6 inches of material. Measure the humus layer and the topsoil layer. Make a chart of the different samples.

Fifth Grade

Multiple Standards [CCSS page]

Suggested Lesson:

Grow plants of the same species in different types of soil. Measure and compare their height, weight, and amount of water provided. Be sure that they all receive the same amount of water and light for this experiment to work. Compare the results by making a chart of the progress of each plant.



Physical Sciences: PS2-K-1[ICS page]

Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth's surface.

Supporting Content:

Sunlight warms Earth's surface. Examples of Earth's surface could include sand, soil, rocks, and water.

Life Sciences LS1-K-2 [ICS page]

Use classification supported by evidence to differentiate between living and non-living items.

Supporting Content:

Living and non-living things have distinct characteristics. Use chart or Venn diagram to sort objects or pictures into living and not-living items.

First Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-1-3 [ICS page]

Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles, but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

Supporting Content:

Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles. Changes organisms go through during their life form a pattern.

Second Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-2-1 [ICS page]

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Supporting Content:

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places. The emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS1-2-1 [ICS page]

Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Supporting Content:

Some events happen quickly and others very slowly, over a time period longer than one can observe. Examples of events and timescales could include earthquakes, which happen quickly, and erosion of rocks, which occurs slowly.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-2-1 [ICS page]

Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

Supporting Content:

Examples of solutions could include different designs for using shrubs, grass, and trees to hold back the land.

Fourth Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-4-1 [ICS page]

Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Supporting Content:

Animals have various body systems with specific functions for sustaining life: skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, muscular, digestive, etc.

Life Sciences: LS1-4-2 [ICS page]

Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Supporting Content:

Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which may be then processed by the animal's brain. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions.

Life Sciences: LS2-4-1 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Supporting Content:

Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Matter that is not food (air, water, decomposed materials in soil) is changed by plants into matter that is food. Organisms obtain gases and water from the environment, and release waste matter back into the environment. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants or plant parts and animals) and therefore operate as "decomposers." Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-4-1 [ICS page]

Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

Supporting Content:

Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.

Fifth Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-5-3 [ICS page]

Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Supporting Content:

Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the animals and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other. Change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-5-1 [ICS page]

Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

Supporting Content:

Earth's major systems are the geosphere (rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes.

Sixth Grade/Middle School

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-3 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Supporting Content:

Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-6 [ICS page]

Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Supporting Content:

Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem's biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. Changes in biodiversity can influence ecosystem services that humans rely on. Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-MS-1 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.

Supporting Content:

All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet's system. Emphasis is on the processes of melting, crystallization, weathering, deformation, and sedimentation, which act together to form minerals and rocks through the cycling of Earth's material.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-MS-2 [ICS page]

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.

Supporting Content:

The planet's systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. Examples of geoscience processes include surface weathering and deposition by the movements of water, ice, and wind.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-MS-1 [ICS page]

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.

Supporting Content:

Examples of uneven distributions of resources as a result of past processes include petroleum, metal ores, and soil (locations of active weathering and/or deposition of rock).

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