1. The Ground Beneath Our Feet
S6E5. Students will investigate the scientific view of how the
earth’s surface is formed.
h. Describe soil as consisting of weathered rocks and
decomposed organic material.
i. Explain the effects of human activity on the erosion of the
j. Describe methods for conserving natural resources such as
water, soil, and air.
• Read each slide. Some
slides are just facts, look
for the bold and
underlined words to
complete the notes
3. Precious Soil
You step on it. You stomp on it. You walk all
over it. Soil doesn’t seem very precious. But
it is. Without soil, which is a mixture of
weathered rock and humus, there would be
no plants. Without plants, we would have no
food to eat and no oxygen to breathe. Soil is
very precious to our way of living. Some
people spend their entire careers studying
•Why don’t you give it a try?
4. Explain this quote after you
complete the notes
“The nation that destroys
its soil, destroys itself.”
5. What Is Soil Made Of?
6. Read this: Soil
begins to form
when bedrock is broken apart
into small pieces of minerals
(rock). The agents rain, ice,
wind, freezing, and thawing
can do this breaking.
Chemical changes can do
this , too to rock.
7. Plants and animals
that live in small rock pieces help
break apart rocks. As plant roots
grow down, they pry apart rocks.
Burrowing animals, such as
earthworms and ants, create tunnels
between rock pieces. Some of
these tunnels fill with air and water.
Water expands as it freezes, further
breaking apart the rocks.
8. Read: How Soil Forms
9. Humus becomes mixed with
the rock pieces. Finally, a material
that can be called soil is produced.
Soil is a mixture of tiny rock
particles, minerals, humus, water,
and air. Soil takes a long time to
form. It may take hundreds to
thousands of years for one inch of
soil to form.
10. Bacteria and fungi also help create soil. They
decompose dead plants and animals for energy.
The leftover plant and animal matter is called
11. Food for thought:
Explain this cartoon!
12. The importance of soil
• Soil provides minerals and other
nutrients for plants.
• All animals get their energy from
plants, either by eating plants or by
eating animals that have eaten
• Soil stores water for plant use
• Soil also prevents water run off
13. Uses of soil: How do Humans (people) use the land (soil)?
• Development-Construction of homes,
stores, office buildings, etc.
• Mining-Removal of iron, copper, and coal
14. Harm to Soil: Damage and loss
•Soil can be damaged from overuse by poor
farming techniques or by over grazing.
•Deforestation: Cutting large masses
of trees leaving bare forest land
•Overuse– soil loses its nutrients
•Overgrazing– animals eat (destroy) plants
and leave the soil bare and exposed
clear cutting the trees
clear cutting the trees
17. WHAT ABOUT THE ANIMALS?
Where and how will they live?
20. Over grazing
21. Over grazing leads to ???
23. SOIL POLLUTION chemicals being
carried in water from field to river
24. Soil Movement: Erosion
• Erosion is the process by which wind,
water or gravity transport soil and
sediment from one location to
• Plant roots anchor the soil and keep
it in place
• By taking care of the plants you also
take care of the soil.
26. DUST BOWL wind erosion
When you are finished with this slide share
go to: ikeepbookmarks.com (Alleyne),
Geosphere, the soil food diner select any
Dust bowl link to help you answer the
questions watch the video clips, look at
the images and use the links.
27. How do we SAVE OUR SOIL!
• Predict three ways that soil can be
28. Soil Conservation
• Soil conservation is a method
to maintain the fertility of the
soil by protecting the soil from
erosion and nutrient loss
• Soil is a resource that must be
29. Methods of soil
• 1. Contour plowing
• 2. Terracing
• 3. No till farming (non tillage)
• 4. Cover Crop
• 5. Crop rotation
30. Contour plowing
• To prevent erosion farmers
plow and plant across the hill
instead of plowing and planting
down the hill.
• The rows act as
a series of dams
that slow the flow
31. Contour planting
• If hills are very steep farmers
use terracing. Terracing
changes the hill into a series of
smaller flatter fields to reduce
35. No till Farming
• Farmers leave old stalks in a
field to protect the soil. It
prevents rain water run off and
slows erosion. The decaying
stalks renew the nutrients to
36. Non tillage
37. No till cotton plants
38. Cover crop
Crops planted between the harvested
crop to replace the nutrients in the soil
and prevent erosion
39. Crop rotation
• Planting different crops in
rotation on the same piece of soil.
Not planting the same crop year
after year on the same ground.
The rotation of crops slows the
loss of nutrients
from the soil.
40. Crop rotation
41. Plowing under cover crop to renew
42. LANDSCAPING FOR SOIL
43. Consider this!
Now go and select any Dust bowl
link to help you answer the questions
watch the video clips, look at the
images and use the links.