Module 3:

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Collect soil samples from your study site using a sound scientific collection method;
  • Culture soil biota using Petri dish and culture media (plating followed by incubation);
  • Describe the living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) features of your study site;
  • Begin to describe the process for classification of animals and microbes into relevant categories;
  • Practice methods for isolating and identifying different life forms in your soil sample;
  • Communicate the results of your sampling procedure using a report that is useful for future studies;
  • Make predictions about how living soil elements might respond to changes in the ecosystem.

Upon completing this module, you will have all the information and tools you need to create your own activities and lesson plans. Activities and lessons plans that you can create based on the material covered in this module are also aligned to Montana state educational standards. View a complete description of benchmarks, grade level expectations and how this module aligns with each here: “Soil Standards” (pdf).


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The MSP project is funded by an ESEA, Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant through the Montana Office of Public Instruction. MSP was developed by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and faculty from Montana Tech of The University of Montana and Montana State University, with support from other Montana University System Faculty.