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Cover: Is All Soil the Same?

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Is All Soil the Same?

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Sandy, crumbly, muddy, rocky, red, brown, gray—all these words can be used to describe soil. Some soil is soft and black and smells of wet leaves. By contrast, another kind is dry, orange, and as hard as rock. Inside this book, readers will discover that it’s the ingredients that make up soil that give it so many different forms. Why is soil in a desert different from soil in a forest? What is the silvery-gray soil on the slopes of a volcano made of? And which types of soil are best for growing plants?

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 9781627248365, 9781627248969, 9781627249560
Title Format Reinforced book, Hosted eBook, Savings Bundle
Dewey 631.4
ATOS Reading Level 4.1
Guided Reading Level L
Lexile Reading Level 770
Scholastic Reading Counts Level 4.7
AR Quiz Number 177314
Author Ellen Lawrence

Booklist Review - Is All Soil the Same?

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.
Is All Soil the Same? goes deeper into soil’s composition and explains why soil can be different colors and
consistencies. 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 Is All Soil the Same?

Part of the series Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil, this book focuses the reader on the differences in soils. When young scientists think about soil, they may have a single image of the dark, black soil that they planted a seed in. Examples are used to explore several different soil types, including clay, volcanic, and peat, as well as the make up of the soil type and how it makes the soil look.

There is a discussion about the impact of how the soil is formed and how the properties of the different soils are important. For example, the book explains that the “super tiny” size of the rock bits in clay make it feel smooth and allow it to soak up a lot of water. This allows clay to become a material that can be molded and shaped. When it is heated, the clay can then be used as a building material.

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