soil, rocks, minerals, trees,
plants, and water
BY ANIKET SOLANKE
Who Studies Soil and
A geologist is a scientist who studies the layers of soil, rocks,
and minerals that make up the earth’s surface.
A natural resource is something found in nature that people
can use to meet their needs. Natural resources are not man-
made. Here are some natural resources…
- rocks - coal - water
- soil - trees - plants
- air - oil - minerals
We will learn about some of these natural resources.
Soil, Rocks, and Minerals are
Soil is the loose top layer of the earth’s surface. All soil comes
from rocks and minerals.
A rock is a natural solid made of one or more minerals.
Minerals are natural solids usually formed as crystals that are
found in rocks. All rocks are made of one or more minerals.
Soil is a Natural Resource
Although many of us don't think about the ground beneath us
or the soil that we walk on each day, the truth is soil is a very
Think of the Earth as an egg. The shell is a very thin layer. Soil
is the thin layer of the Earth’s surface.
Can you think of any reasons to
We use the soil to grow our food.
Some animals graze on it.
Other animals live in the ground.
We dig deep into the ground for our water wells.
I'm sure you can think of many more reasons to study soil….
3 Types of Soil
Sand – rough, gritty, won’t form a ball
Silt – smooth like flour, not sticky or shiny.
Clay – soft, shiny, sticky when wet, forms ball,
When clay is heated, it hardens to make
bricks and pottery.
People Use Soil
People need soil to grow food.
People use soil to make adobe bricks to build
Properties of Rocks and Minerals
Texture is how much sand,
silt, or clay is in the soil. Does
it feel gritty, sticky, smooth,
silky, moist, or dry?
Rocks can be classified by how they look and feel.Rocks can be classified by how they look and feel.
Color, texture, and hardness are properties we lookColor, texture, and hardness are properties we look
for in a rock or mineral.for in a rock or mineral.
• Color •Hardness is tested by
scratching a rock with
your fingernail, a penny,
and a nail.
People Use Rocks
People use rocks to build houses and roads.
People use rocks to make walls and walkways.
People use rocks to make sculptures.
Most sculptures are made by carefully chipping
away rock and making it smooth or rough.
Mount Rushmore shows the faces of four great presidents:
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt,
and Abraham Lincoln.
From 1927 to 1941, 400
workers sculpted this
memorial to represent
the first 150 years of
It is located in Keystone, South Dakota.
Plants are Natural Resources
Plants have many uses…
They make surroundings more beautiful.
Trees are used for wood to build houses and make furniture.
Trees are also used to make paper.
Fabric is made from plants, like cotton.
Branches from plants are used for fuel to make a fire.
Plants are used for food: fruits, vegetables and grains.
Plants are used to make cooking oils, herbs, and spices for
Plants are also used to make medicines.
Some plants are even used to make rubber for tires.
Water is a Natural Resource
People use water in many ways…
People, plants, and animals need water to live.
People use water for drinking and cooking.
Water is used for having fun, to swim or cool-off.
Water is also used for bathing and cleaning things.
Our supply of water will never run out. WaterOur supply of water will never run out. Water
covers about 70% of the Earth. Remember,covers about 70% of the Earth. Remember,
water is always being recycled.water is always being recycled.
You have learned that soil, rocks, minerals, plants, and water are
You have also learned how people use rocks, soil, plants, and
Would you like to be a geologist?