Chapter 8 in our science textbook brings us to the subject of rocks. This is a favorite topic of study among third-graders. As we begin the chapter, we talk about the three layers of soil and their properties. To help the students remember these, we do a hands-on activity where we make a model of soil. We use three round ring butter cookies, pudding, and cups to accomplish this.
First, we put a whole cookie, which represents the bottom layer of soil bedrock, at the bottom of a cup.
Next, we break another cookie into large pieces and mix them with half the pudding. Then we put this mixture over the bedrock. This represents the second layer, subsoil. Subsoil has large pieces of rock in it.
Finally, we crush our last cookie and mix it with the remaining pudding. We spoon this on top of the subsoil. This top layer represents topsoil with its small bits of rock and humus.
The children then draw a diagram representing the three layers of soil to reinforce our activity. One good thing about building this model is that it’s totally edible. I think the students like that part best!
Have you used edible things to encourage student learning?