HOME-> Soil Health Educational Resources

Soil Health Educational Resources

Soil Health Educational Resources

Soil plays a critical role in our lives - it provides nutrition in the food we eat; filters our water; cleans our air; provides habitat for wildlife and pollinators; sequesters carbon; and sustains the livelihoods of millions of farmers and ranchers worldwide who preserve and nurture this precious resource.

The Soil Health Institute Communications and Education Action Team compiled the following catalog of soil health educational resources to help educators teach students and adults about the critical functions that soil plays in sustaining life on earth.

This team identified existing soil health resources – developed by public and private sector organizations – and organized them by audience and subject matter to help educators develop soil health lesson plans and demonstrations; and to help students explain, engage in and advocate for soil health issues, and soil health’s benefits to agriculture, the environment and local communities.

The Soil Health Institute would like to acknowledge Beth Mason of the National Association of Conservation Districts, Ron Nichols, formerly of USDA-NRCS, Lisa Bellows of North Central Texas College, Gretchen Sassenrath of Kansas State University, Sami Tellatin at University of Missouri, Caroline Wade of The Nature Conservancy, Susan Schultz of SMS Consulting and Earth Team Volunteer, Jessica Handy of Kiss the Ground, Gary Farrell of the Washington State Soil Health Committee and Scott Jones of Regenerative Farming Practices for their contributions.

The Communications and Education Action Team would appreciate your assistance in identifying any additional soil health educational resources. If you are interested in recommending a new resource, please submit this resource at the bottom of the page.

AUDIENCE DESCRIPTION LINK ORGANIZATION
Adult (general public) The Purdue Soil Health photo and video library gives you easy access to photos and videos that may be useful in your efforts to inform and educate others about soil health. http://www.ydae.purdue.edu/soilhealth/videos.html Purdue Extension
Adult (general public) The Purdue Soil Health photo and video library gives you easy access to photos and videos that may be useful in your efforts to inform and educate others about soil health. http://www.ydae.purdue.edu/soilhealth/photos.html Purdue Extension
Adult (general public) Soil Basics includes lessons on soil origins, profiles, components, structure, pesticides, and ag soils. http://www.ydae.purdue.edu/soilhealth/soil-basics.html Purdue Extension
Adult (general public) Soil Health section topics include how a healthy soil should look and smell, economics, increasing OM, and urban gardening. http://www.ydae.purdue.edu/soilhealth/soil-health.html Purdue Extension
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Cover Crop Topic Room: Bulletins, fact sheets, books (online and print versions available), PowerPoint presentation templates, infographics, images, illustrations. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Topic-Rooms SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Cover Crops & Soil Health Images, Illustrations, and PowerPoint Templates: topics include cover crop economics, cover crop selection, biodiversity, water quality, impacts of cover crops and soil health, ecosystem services of cover crops, etc. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Topic-Rooms/Cover-Crops/Cover-Crop-Images-Library SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Managing Cover Crops Profitably: A book (offered online and in print) exploring how and why cover crops work, and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Managing-Cover-Crops-Profitably-3rd-Edition SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Building Soils for Better Crops: A book (offered online and in print) offering a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Building-Soils-for-Better-Crops-3rd-Edition SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects: A bulletin (available online and in print for free) to help farmers and ranchers use cover crops to encourage populations of pollinators and beneficial insects on farm while also addresing other resource concerns. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Bulletins/Cover-Cropping-for-Pollinators-and-Beneficial-Insects SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Alternative Continuous-Cover Dairy Forage System for Profitability, Flexibility and Soil Health: A fact sheet available online about an "alternative continuous-cover forage" system that is based on soil health management and applicable to dairy farmers http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Fact-Sheets/Alternative-Continuous-Cover-Dairy-Forage-System-for-Profitability-Flexibility-and-Soil-Health SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health: An online database of videos and presentations from the 2014 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health, including breakout session presentations on cover crops and soil health. Also, included in this link is the ability to watch the "Cover Crop Innovators" series - a video series of farmers who are cover crop innovators and how they've made cover crops and soil health work on their land. http://www.sare.org/Events/Cover-Crop-Conferences/National-Conference-on-Cover-Crops-and-Soil-Health SARE
Adult: farmers, ranchers, agency representatives (USDA, EPA) non-profit organizations, sustainable agriculture educators Cover Crop Innovators Video Series: a video series of farmers who are cover crop innovators and how they made cover crops and soil health work on their land. http://www.sare.org/Events/Cover-Crop-Conferences/National-Conference-on-Cover-Crops-and-Soil-Health/Cover-Crop-Innovators-Video-Series SARE
Grades 2 - 4 Mighty Mini Microbe’s Tale, coloring book To order: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/soils/health/?cid=nrcseprd1360615
To view/download:https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/soils/health/
USDA NRCS
Grades 3 - 5 Elementary school curriculum. Focusing on grades three through five, the curriculum’s activities take the student on a journey through the benefits of irrigation, including agriculture, landscape and its history. http://www.irrigation.org/IA/Resources/Elementary_School_Curriculu/IA/Resources/Elementary_School_Curriculum.aspx Irrigation Associaton
Grades 3 - 5 WhoBuddies Elementary school materials: books and activity sheets https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ia/home/?cid=nrcs142p2_011809 USDA NRCS
Grades 4 - 10 Soil Health Infographics https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/soils/health/?cid=stelprdb1143889 USDA NRCS
Grades 5 - 8 Purple Plow: Soil and Food Challenges (Student and Teacher guides) http://www.purpleplowchallenge.org/about/ American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
Grades 5-12 Videos: The Hope in Healthy Soil, Chapters 1 - 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TucmtBLmeyU&index=8&list=PL4J8PxoprpGaCb1k93_Y5pOm9b-9V1pMX USDA NRCS
Grades 5-12 Soil Health Theater: Soil Health Lessons in a Minute (6 video episodes) https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/soils/health/?cid=stelprdb1048858 USDA NRCS
Grades 8-12 Fact Sheets: "Healthy Soils Are…" https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/soils/health/?cid=stelprdb1193043 USDA NRCS
Grades 8-12 Fact Sheets: Soil Health Basics & Benefits https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/soils/health/?cid=stelprdb1049236 USDA NRCS
Grades K - 12 Soil lessons, activities, etc Teachers: http://www.soils4teachers.org/ Students: https://soils.org/students Kids: http://www.soils4kids.org/home SSSA - Soil Science Society of America
Grades K - 12 Matrix of lessons plans and activities http://www.soils4teachers.org/lessons-and-activities SSSA - Soil Science Society of America
Grades K - 12 The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix: an online, searchable, and standards-based curriculum map for K-12 teachers. https://agclassroom.org/ National Ag In The Classroom
Grades K - 12 Matrix of Activities https://agclassroom.org/teacher/matrix/ National Ag In The Classroom
Grades K - 12 Water Games and Activities, classroom lessons https://www3.epa.gov/safewater/kids/gamesandactivies.html Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Grades K - 12 Natural resource education material - several soil activities www.plt.org Project Learning Tree (PLT)
Grades K - 12 Soil Activities and Water education materials (water lessosn plans, books, guides, maps, posters) http://projectwet.org Project WET
Grades K - 12 And Adult State Soil Booklets: Information on each "state soil" http://www.soils4teachers.org/state-soils SSSA - Soil Science Society of America
Grades K - 12 Variety of links to activities and publications https://www.fs.fed.us/learn/educators US Forest Service
Grades K - 12 Interactive soil education https://www.blm.gov/nstc/soil/Kids/index.html Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Grades K - 12 Learning Center: Books, bulletins, videos, curricula, fact sheets and much more! SARE's Learning Center is a treasure trove of sustainable agriculture information. Use the keyword filters or search box to begin exploring. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center SARE
Grades K - 6 Soil materials: lesson plans, activities https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/edu/kthru6/ USDA NRCS
Grades K - 6 Games, lesson plans, fact sheets, videos, water challenges, videos http://wateruseitwisely.com Water Use It Wisely
Grades K - 8 a five-year rotation for stewardship topics – water, soil, habitat, forestry, and a topic of interest (the highest grade level says grade 6 and above) http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-program/ NACD - National Association of Conservation Districts
Grades Pre-K - 5 My American Farm: Farm Games http://www.myamericanfarm.org/classroom/games America Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
Grades K - 12 DIG IT! The Secrets of Soil: Discover the amazing world of soils with interactive learning, images and information from the Dig It! The Secrets of Soil exhibit from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. http://forces.si.edu/soils/ Museum of Natural History - Smithsonian
Grades K - 12 Underground Adventure exhibit at the museum until December 31, 2020. Get a bug’s-eye view of the world when you magically “shrink” to 1/100th of your actual size—smaller than a penny—to explore an immersive environment of worm tunnels and soil chambers. This exhibition reveals soil to be home to an incredible diversity of living things, and shows how not a single plant or animal could survive without it. After regaining your regular size, become a soil scientist to investigate how life above ground connects to life below. https://www.fieldmuseum.org/exhibitions/underground-adventure Chicago Field Museum
Grades K - Adult MO DIRT (Missourians Doing Impact Research Together) http://modirt.missouriepscor.org/ Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Grades K-Adult Soil intro; Soil Temperature; SMAP Soil Temperature; Soil moisture gravimetric; Soil Characterization; Selecting, Exposing and defining a soil characterization site; Horizon sampling eTraining - Soils https://www.globe.gov/get-trained/protocol-etraining/etraining-modules/16867724/12276 The Globe Program - Soils component - eTraining
Grades K-12 The GLOBE Soil (Pedosphere) investigation is available in the six United Nations languages (select any of the following links to open the corresponding document): Arabic (2005 edition), Chinese (1997 edition), French (2005 edition), Portuguese (1997 edition), Russian (1997 edition), and Spanish (2005 edition). Teachers Guide - Soils https://www.globe.gov/do-globe/globe-teachers-guide/soil-pedosphere The Globe Program - Soils component - Teachers Guide

Suggest a Resource