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Washington Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Companion Resource

Print Soil Science Society of America

Soil Science Videos

To celebrate the International Year of Soils in 2015, the Soil Science Society of America created monthly videos teaching about various soil topics. These videos are a great supplement to soil science lessons.


See the following specific videos illustrating the use and importance of soil in our lives:

Soils and Culture: Soil is a part of our daily lives. It gives us our food, clothing and shelter. Soil is a natural resource that performs wide ranging services from cleaning our water to providing a surface for our sports fields. Soil even improves our lives with artistic beauty and cultural richness. The soil on this earth is limited; it’s up to us to use it wisely and preserve it for future generations, because soils sustain life.

Soils and Climate: Soils help moderate global temperatures, store carbon, and can preserve records of past climates. Soil is a precious natural resource that has significant interactions with Earth’s climate system, but it can’t do its job if we keep disturbing it. When soils are allowed to interact with the plants and water systems they were meant to support, soils support life.

Soils and the Products We Use: All of our food, and many everyday objects that we use, depend on soil as their natural resource.

Soils Protect the Natural Environment: Which soil is under your feet? Well, that depends on where you are. But, no matter where you live, soils protect the natural environment around you. No matter where you live, there is soil under you. And, it is a resource we need to protect, because soils sustain life.

Soils Support Health: There are millions of microbes living in soil...and they help suppress disease. In fact, we learned how to make many of our modern medicines from these microbes! Soil keeps us healthy in other ways, like providing nutrients for our food. Some soil microbes can even clean polluted soil! Healthy soils mean healthy humans.

Soils Are Living: Soil is a living, dynamic natural resource. It helps us sustain life--our food, clothing and shelter come from soil. But soil doesn't do it's job alone. Animals large and small--including microscopic--live in soil. This biodiversity is critical to a healthy world.

Soils Support Recreation: What do a nice walk in the forest or beach, a soccer game, and a horse race all have in common? They’re all activities we enjoy because of soil.

Soils Support Buildings and Infrastructure: Your home, school, workplace...all of them are built on soil...and often with it. The foundations of buildings need to be on strong soil to support them. Septic systems, storm water systems and waste water management all rely on soils to help clean our water. Soils are the backbone of the world we live in!

Soils Clean and Capture Water: Soil is a great water purifier! Soils clean water through physical, chemical and biological systems. We need to find more ways to allow soil to provide this basic service to us, so we can keep our environment, and ourselves, more healthy.

Soils Support Agriculture: The soil is the ultimate source of the nutrients that our bodies need. The vitamins and minerals that are a necessary part of our diet come from plants that have, in turn, gotten those same vitamins and minerals from the soil. Soils support agriculture by serving as the foundation of where we grow food.

Soils Support Urban Life: Do you live in a city? Most people do. Under all of this city space, even under the concrete, is a lot of soil, and it’s a complex mixture of minerals, water, air, and organic matter that perform many critical functions. Help the soil serve you by making rain gardens, making and using compost, and making an urban garden.

Soils Sustain Life: Soil is one of the four things we cannot live without. Soil, Water, Air and Sunlight are needed for all life as we know it. Soils cover the upper crust of the earth. This video series, produced by SSSA, will introduce you to the important topic of soils as a precious natural resource.

Soil Science Society of America
Lessons Associated with this Resource