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Cover: How Do Animals Help Make Soil?

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How Do Animals Help Make Soil?

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From ants, beetles, and worms, to moles, rabbits, and groundhogs, soil is home to many different animals. As they eat, produce bodily waste, and build their underground homes, all these soil-dwelling creatures are making new soil and helping to keep soil healthy. Inside this book, readers will discover a secret world of underground animals and the big part they play in the story of soil. How do animals recycle dead plants and turn them into new soil? Why are burrowing animals helpful to trees and other plants? And why is worm poop so good for the soil?

Filled with information perfectly suited to the abilities and interests of an early elementary audience, this colorful, fact-filled volume gives readers a chance not only to learn, but also to develop their powers of observation and critical thinking. With its stunning photographs and surprising, high-interest facts about a material that most of us take for granted, the book makes learning about soil a lively, engaging experience.

Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre High-Interest
Copyright 2016
Publisher Bearport Publishing
Series Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Dimensions 10 x 8
ISBN 9781627248358, 9781627248952, 9781627249553
Title Format Reinforced book, Hosted eBook, Savings Bundle
Dewey 631.4
ATOS Reading Level 4.1
Guided Reading Level L
Lexile Reading Level 570
Scholastic Reading Counts Level 5.2
AR Quiz Number 177313
Author Ellen Lawrence

Booklist Review - How Do Animals Help Make Soil?

Dirty is the perfect name for a series that will have kids wanting to head outside and see
some of the interesting points the books make about soil—what it is, how it’s formed, what it’s good for.
How Do Animals Help Make Soil? looks at the way creatures, from earthworms to sheep, add nutrients to
the soil; the work of decomposers such as dung beetles and microbes is shown as well. The books are
neatly laid out, with simple text captioning the many color photographs. A good gambit is used to get kids
to turn pages: each spread ends with a question. All of the books end with a science-lab feature that offers
simple experiments for budding scientists. Full of useful information, this series makes the most ordinary
of substances fascinating.

NSTA Recommends How Do Animals Help Make Soil?

Part of the series Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil, this book explores that importance of animals in the formation of soil. The cycling of organic material back into the soil is the focus here. Starting with insects and worms helping to break down plant and other organic waste, the book moves on to bigger animals like wolves that are consumers that start the breaking down of larger animals into soil. We also learn about microbes that are too small to see without magnification and how they help break down organic material so that it becomes part of the soil.

In the classroom the book creates high interest with clear pictures that illustrate the content. Beginning with a Table of Contents to guide the reader to the information they may be looking for, each section uses text and clearly labeled illustrations to develop key science concepts. Important words are bolded and then defined in the “Science Words” section using both pictures and text. There is a “Science Lab” section that suggests investigations that students can complete that focus on the content of the book. An index at the end of the book allows the reader to find specific places in the book where key ideas are presented.

As a part of your library, this book can be used as a tool for primary age students to begin doing research for reports or projects. In addition the “Science Labs” section contains some great ideas for both individual and class investigations. The investigations not only focus on doing, but also on the importance in science of recording and analyzing data.

School Library Journal Review for Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil

What’s Soil Made Of? provides an overview of organic components, rock weathering, animals living in soil, and different types. Animals focuses on excretion and decomposing bodies and mentions how earthworms and larger animals loosen soil. Plants mentions vegetation that grows without soil but concentrates on how most receive nutrients through roots. Is All Soil the Same? notes variations such as clay, volcanic soil, and peat. Dirt or Soil focuses on a distinction in terminology that could be explained in a couple of sentences. Curiously, none of these offerings includes basic terminology such as topsoil or humus. There are many photos here, some of which appear in more than one volume, and the selections all conclude with an activity suggestion.

Full-color photographs