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Soil Study and Inquiry Kit

$305.00

In stock (can be backordered)

In stock (can be backordered)

This kit includes 8 curated books accompanied by resources & equipment to support a K-7 soil inquiry outdoors!

This kit includes book specific lesson sparks, guiding questions, and curricular connections for playful explorations of soil in your school garden or school yard. It supports student learning across the curriculum, with a specific focus on how soil is different from dirt, and the importance of soil in our daily lives.

This kit was curated and created by teachers Megan Zeni and Sarah Regan. Megan and Sarah are job share partners teaching entirely outdoors in a K-7 garden classroom. Megan shares their experiences of outdoor play and learning on Instagram and Twitter at @roomtoplay.

Reduced Shipping Prices: Shipping prices have been lowered significantly since launching this kit – if you abandoned your order because of the high price, please try again! 🙂

This kit includes:

Books in this kit:

  1. What’s Sprouting in my Trash by Ester Porter
  2. The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer
  3. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
  4. My Mud Kitchen is Rad by Allison Bakkum
  5. Compost Stew: An A-Z Recipe for Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
  6. Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman
  7. Exploring Soils: A Hidden World Underground by Samantha Grover
  8. Dirt: The Scoop on Soil by Natalie Rosinsky

If you already have all of the equipment, you can order the Soil Book Set.

Additional supplementary resources not included, but can be ordered separately include:

  1. FoodCycler for Schools
  2. The School Garden Curriculum: An Integrated K-8 Guide
  3. Looking Closely Outdoor Learning Kit

100% of the proceeds go back to non-profit outdoor learning initiatives, and a portion of this will go directly to the development of more great kits like this!


Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman

Carl is an earthworm. He spends his days happily tunneling in the soil until a field mouse asks him a simple question that stops him short: "Why?" Carl's quest takes him on an adventure to meet all the animals of the forest, each of whom seems to know exactly what they were put on this Earth to do, unlike the curious Carl. But it's not until the world around him has changed that Carl begins to realize everyone, no matter how small, makes a big difference just by being themselves.

A sweet and funny story about finding your place in the world! 

Pages: 48

In stock

Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals

Teach kids to compost and help them develop life-long habits to protect the Earth. From apple cores to zinnia heads, readers will discover the best ingredients for a successful compost pile in this fun picture book perfect for Earth Day!

Kids everywhere are seeking knowledge about the environment and climate change. Not only is composting becoming more common in households and residential gardens, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include?

This inviting book provides all the answers for kids and families looking for simple, child-friendly ways to help the planet.

Pages: 40

In stock

Dirt: The Scoop on Soil by Natalie Myra Rosinsky

Dig in to the wondrous world of dirt! In this introduction to soil, young science and nature lovers will discover  the components of dirt, how it’s made, and how to maintain healthy soil for the environment.

Alongside charming illustrations, award-winning author Natalie M. Rosinsky delivers fun, fact-filled text for an engaging read-aloud or beginning read-alone. Includes hands-on experiments!

Pages: 24

In stock

Exploring Soils: A hidden world underground by Samantha Grover

Have you ever wondered what happens in the earth underneath us? James has, and he wants to be a soil scientist.

In Exploring Soils: A Hidden World Underground, James discovers that soil is not just dirt for digging in, it is an essential part of our world. He explores how plants and animals live in soil, how soils are formed, how they differ, and the ways that soil is essential in our lives.

Presenting a child-centered storyline written by Samantha Grover, a soil scientist and parent, and captivating illustrations from Camille Heisler, Exploring Soils will take you to an underground world filled with activity and discoveries.

Pages: 32

In stock

My Mud Kitchen is Rad by George Sweetland

What happens when two kids are bored on a rainy day? Follow two characters outside to play in their MUD KITCHEN, as they stomp, blend, and mix their way into messy fun. Everyone will enjoy this lovely story as it brings to life the creativity of two children and the muddy fun they have in the rain.

Pages: 46

In stock

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain

When you’re out walking around, whether on the city streets or a country trail, there’s always so much to see and hear. But do you ever stop and look down? Have you ever wondered what’s going on deep in the ground under your feet?

There are so many amazing sights to see! One side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the city, while the reverse side shows the ground beneath the countryside. The underground scenes include tunnels and pipes, creatures’ burrows, layers of rock, and the planet’s molten core, each running seamlessly into the next.

Mixing urban and rural settings, covering subjects such as geologyarchaeology, and natural historyThe Street Beneath My Feet offers children the opportunity to explore their world through a detailed learning experience.

And its foldout style extends to eight feet in length, and is ideal for spreading out on the floor to pore over for hours.

Awards: 

  1. A 2018 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students: K-12 (National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council)
  2. A 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Notable Children's Book - All Ages

Pages: 20

In stock

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home. In this exuberant and lyrical book, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves... and down in the dirt.

This sweet exploration of the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year "could not be more lovely," according to the Washington Post.

Pages: 56

AWARDS:

  1. A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
  2. A Regional Indie Bestseller (New England, Great Lakes)
  3. A WSRA Picture This! List selection
  4. A Great Lakes Great Book Award winner

In stock

What's Sprouting in my Trash? by Esther Porter

You can't recycle a banana peel... can you? Learn about how composting your food scraps, egg cartons, and other wastes helps make Earth a greener place.

Pages: 32

In stock

Soil Temperature Thermometer

This compact dial thermometer is used for testing soil temperature for planting.

It has a 4" probe and a dual scale range 20-180° F/0-80° C with temperature zones.

 

In stock

Collection Jars × 3

These large and easy-to-use collection jars are perfect for soil, as well as collecting other materials to bring back to the classroom and study (and then release back into the wild!).

In stock

Kids Compost Kit

Which decays faster? A banana peel or a Styrofoam cup? Find out with the only transparent composting kit designed just for kids!

This kit introduces life cycles and composting. The clear transparent compost container has 2 compartments including removable divider, 2 3x magnifiers, 2 write-on/wipe-off boards, and lid with air holes! Also comes with a 22-page activity journal.

This also comes as part of the Soil Study and Inquiry Kit.

In stock

Gardening Set for Kids (3 tools) × 3

Tools are durable and easy to hold and handle for all ages. They are 10" in size, and composed of 70% nylon and 30% fiberglass plastic.

INCLUDES:

  • Trowel
  • Cultivator
  • Transplanter

These also come as part of the Soil Study and Inquiry Kit.

In stock

Potmaker

Just roll and press into the wooden Potmaker to create an environmentally friendly pot that will naturally decompose in the ground.

No glue is required. This clever device creates sturdy little pots from newspaper that are ideal for starting young plants, seedlings, or cuttings.

Very easy-to-use potmakers have even been successfully kid-tested. The press and form are made of solid maple.

Great for an endless supply of starter pots. Potmakers will eliminates the need for disposable plastic pots and flats. Forms 2-1/4" diameter pots.

 

In stock (can be backordered)

Magnifier Box × 3

The box with 1,001 uses. Perfect for observing insect specimens, leaf parts, soil grains, etc.!

This acrylic box has a moulded magnifier with 4X power that snaps on and off.

Very portable and durable for field explorations.

In stock

Seedling Germination Trays

Also known as 1020 Flats, these black Seedling Germination Trays are used by professional nurseries.

These flats are also sized to work with the clear domes, lighting systems, and seedling heat mats.

Seedling Germination Trays add stability to the cell inserts, which allows you to move them as needed.

In stock

Handheld Field Magnifier × 2

Help your students focus in on the incredible world of the small! This 3x magnifier is large, durable and user-friendly for all ages. The magnifiers are sourced from a local supplier (see below). Read more about our ethical policies & practices.  Keep track of your magnifiers by adding a lanyard to make this a hands-free carry-and-go item for your students.

The Inside Scoop: It kills us to see those cheap plastic magnifiers that schools tend to use that get so scratched up. As a result, after months of looking for a magnifier that was durable, strong, scratch resistant and super user-friendly for all ages, we found one right under our noses! Our friends Jaye & Shelli carry this one at their local office supplies shop. And Jaye knows something about strength... he is a Canadian Paralympian for track cycling! Check him out here...

Lanyards are sold separately: 

  1. We offer an Every Child Matters lanyard with a breakaway function. These are designed by Strong Nations in collaboration with Algonquin artist Don Bonner. It features the message "Every Child Matters" and a feather design.
  2. We also offer an Explore Your World lanyard with a ‘breakaway’ function is made from organic cotton, so have been grown without pesticides from plants that have not been genetically modified. They are exceptionally soft and 100 percent biodegradable.

In stock (can be backordered)

Explore Your World Lanyards × 2

This lanyard with a 'breakaway' function is made from organic cotton, so have been grown without pesticides from plants that have not been genetically modified. They are exceptionally soft and 100 percent biodegradable.

They feature outdoor learning images and sayings such as 'Explore Your World' and can be paired with our handheld field magnifier.

 

In stock (can be backordered)

Rings for attaching magnifiers and lanyards × 2

Recycled & Weatherproof Clipboard (green)

Our clipboards are durable, weatherproof, and made from recycled plastic!

This easy-to-write-on surface provides a simple option for turning the outdoors into your classroom. :)

"The plastic clipboards are a game changer for outdoor ed." - Teacher, Southeast Kootenay School District 5

Ethical Elements: Made from recycled plastic, and sourced from a company that has exceptionally high social and environmental standards. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: After looking high and low for a recycled clipboard, we were so glad to find this one with a local company with such high standards. While a bit higher cost than run-of-the-mill clipboards, we know it won't disappoint!

 

 

In stock (can be backordered)

Basic Backpack (made from recycled pop bottles!) × 3

These lightweight & affordable backpacks allow each student to store & transport their outdoor learning equipment & resources. The size of main pouch is 45cm high x 32.5cm wide x 25cm deep. Straps can be manually adjusted for length. They are suitable for grades 3+ (including teachers!) but can be adjusted to make shorter for younger/smaller students.

Care Instructions: Hand wash in cold water with like colors. Hang or lay flat to dry only. Do not machine wash, do not machine / tumble dry. Do not bleach.

Ethical Elements: Made from recycled pop bottles, and sourced for a socially ethical supplier. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: After looking at dozens of options, this one rose to the surface as one that was affordable, modelled sustainable practices, fit a variety of ages, and have an adequate volume. And we were very pleased to work with a company that has very high ethical standards to source this!

Are your Basic Backpack straps a little long for the little ones? Never fear! The straps are incredibly easy to adjust! Watch how below!

 

Black (with zippered pocket)

Soil Kit Resource Download

In this 10-page resource handbook are lesson sparks, guiding questions, and curricular connections for each book in the kit. This will support you in spending less time planning and more time exploring outdoors with your learners!

This is the downloadable version of the hardcopy you will receive with your order (but includes the hyperlinks that are not live in your hard copy). You will be able to access your download immediately on the cart completion page and in the email you receive once your order has been paid for.

These resources were created by teachers Megan Zeni and Sarah Regan. Megan and Sarah are job share partners teaching entirely outdoors in a K-7 garden classroom. Megan shares their experiences of outdoor play and learning on Instagram and Twitter at @roomtoplay.

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