Examining the Soil

KidsGen.com
Home
Stories for kids | Fables and Fairytales | School Projects | Events and Holidays | Games | Fun and Jokes | Hobbies | Unsolved Mystry
School Projects Main Magnetic Earth Broken Earth Snake Pot What is Soil
Examining the Soil Make a Rainbow How Plants Grow? Sunny Sunflower Safety Measures Acid Rain
Digital Soccer Roman House Stone Age Cave Painting Floating And Sinking Different Homes Hunter's Home
Butterfly Growth and Temperature Development of a Seed Effect of Light on Seeds How do Solar Cells Work Static Electricity
Tips on Homework Erupting Volcano Forests Hot Air Balloon Rocket Launcher
Foaming Bottle Model Phases of the moon Global Warming Feedback Refer this page

Beneath the ground, the soil teems with life. Worms, slugs, millipedes, and beetles live there, feeding on decaying matter. Tiny living creatures, called decomposers, break down everything that remains. Decomposers include microscopic bacteria, fungi, woodlice, mites, and small insects. They digest organic material such as dead animals, leaves, and plants, and break it down into nutrients. This process, called decomposition, creates arich fertilizer for plants growing in the soil. As organic material rots, its nutrients or goodness are returned to the soil. The nutrients or goodness are returned to the soil. The nutrients dissolve in rainwater, and trickle down to tree and other plant roots below. 

WATCHING DECAY IN THE SOIL

This experiment demonstrates the best conditions for decomposing plants. It shows that plant material decays quickest in warm, moist areas. You can take a closer look at the decomposers themselves in the second project, which shows how to separate creepy- crawlies from the rotting leaves they live in. You could repeat the experiment with leaves from a different areas, and see if the insects you find are the same. 

You will need :
1> Gardening gloves
2> Trowel (optional)
3> Two clean plastic containers
4> Soil
5> Dead leaves
6> Water in a watering can
7> One container lid

Step 1

filling containers with dry soil

 

Be sure to wear a pair of gardening gloves for this project. Use your hand or a trowel if you prefer, to fill two plastic containers with plenty of dry soil.

Step 2

covering the container

 

Put a layer of dead leaves on top of the soil in one of the containers. Water the leaves and soil thoroughly, then press the lid onto the container to cover it.



Step 3

placing a layer of leaves


Place a layer of leaves on the dry soil in the other container. Do not water it and do not cover the container. Store both containers in a dry place.




leaves in the wet soilleaves in the dry soil


After a few weeks, the leaves in the wet soil (left) will have begun to rot, and those in the dry soil (right) will have shrivelled.



STUDYING DECOMPOSERS

You will need :
1> Plastic funnel
2> Large clear jar
3> Gloves
4> Rotting leaves from a compost heap
5> Black paper
6> Sticky tape
7> Desk lamp
8> Magnifying glass
9> Field guide

Step 1

putting the funnel in the jar



Rotting leaves are covered in insects and other creepy-crawlies. You can separate them by using a lamp, a funnel, and a large jar. Put the funnel inside the jar, as shown.


Step 2

filling the funnel with the rotting leaves


Wearing a pair of gardening gloves, loosely fill the funnel with rotting leaves. Tape a sheet of black paper around the sides of the jar to block out the light.



Step 3

shedding light on the leaves


Place the lamp so that it shines on the leaves. The creatures will move away from the heat and the light of the lamp, and fall down the slippery funnel into the jar below.



looking at the creatures in the jar


After an hour, there will be several creatures in the jar. Look at them with a magnifying glass and use a field guide to identify them. Then return the creatures to where you found them.

Feast for woodlice

woodlice-the decomposers


Rotting, in nature, does not happen by itself. Dead leaves are food for decomposers, such as woodlice. They eat the fallen leaves and pass many of the nutrients back into the soil, to be taken up again by the trees' roots.

Hot!


- 4th of July
- All about Dinosaurs
- Horror stories
- Indian Mythology stories
- School Projects
- Wonders of the world
- Crafts For Kids

   

School Projects Main Magnetic Earth Broken Earth Snake Pot What is Soil
Examining the Soil Make a Rainbow How Plants Grow? Sunny Sunflower Safety Measures Acid Rain
Digital Soccer Roman House Stone Age Cave Painting Floating And Sinking Different Homes Hunter's Home
Butterfly Growth and Temperature Development of a Seed Effect of Light on Seeds How do Solar Cells Work Static Electricity
Tips on Homework Erupting Volcano Forests Hot Air Balloon Rocket Launcher
Foaming Bottle Model Phases of the moon Global Warming Feedback Refer this page

Stay Updated! Signup for the KidsGen Newsletter:
Try out the other sections Click here for free kids calendar
Download free Kids Calendar
Home | Knowledge Quest | Birthday | Comics | Recipes | Crafts | Pets | Fun | Party Ideas |
Rhymes and Poems
| School Projects | Fables and Fairytales | Games | Stories |
Events and Holidays | Facts | Magic | Hobbies | Tell Me Why? | A-Z of Animals | Continents |
Moral Stories | Video Stories | Indian Mythological Stories | Back to School | Link to us