Why Is Soil Important?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11507

We don't pay much attention to dirt unless it gets on our clothes or the carpet. We just walk all over it! But it's REALLY important! Learn how we can't live without it, and play with it in a project!


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Can you solve this riddle?

YOU give me warmth and a home, too.
I am a worm, but who are YOU?

YOU give me strength, I hold on to YOU,
I am a root, but who are YOU?

YOU give me path and bed, allow me in, too.
I am water, but who are YOU?

YOU give me mud to build my house,
I am person, but who are YOU?

  • Were you able to guess who is speaking in the riddle above?

Take a minute or two to talk about the clues with your parent or teacher.

  • Did you guess soil or dirt?

Great job!

  • Did you know that soil is a fancy word for dirt?
    • Have you ever played in the dirt?
    • What is your favorite thing to do in the dirt?
    • Do you like to splash in mud puddles?
    • Do you like to make mud pies?

Tell your teacher or parent about a time when you played in the mud.

playing in the mud

Mud is just wet dirt or soil. Scientists call dirt soil, so for this lesson, we will be scientists, too, and call it soil!

Think of a time when you played with soil and how it felt. Go find some soil and see what it feels like!

  • Was it smooth in your hands?
  • Was it gritty like salt?
  • Did it make you all dirty?

Soil is the stuff on the ground that most plants grow in, and without it, we couldn't grow fruits, vegetables, plants, and trees. Soil is very important for us to be able to grow food for animals and humans.

different soil samples

  • Did you know that soil comes in may different colors?

There are many different kinds of soil, and they can be different colors and textures, depending on where they are found. For instance, the soil on a farm in Iowa will be a different kind of soil than that found in a desert in Arizona.

Soils are different, just like plants! Soils are different because different plants, weather, and places need different soils.

Many of the foods we eat come from plants. Fruits and vegetables come from plants. Plants need soil to grow.


Many animals get their food from plants. For example, squirrels eat nuts that grow on trees. Trees cannot grow without soil.


You probably know that milk comes from cows. Cows like to eat lots of grass, and grass needs soil to grow. If the cows did not have grass to eat, they could not make milk.


  • Can you think of another important use for soil?
  • What else grows in soil that is important to you?

Draw a picture of something that grows in soil, and explain how it is helpful to you. Share your artwork with your teacher or parent.

Other useful materials

We get many useful materials from plants. Think about trees and how they grow in soil.

  • What do we use trees for?

We use them to climb, and for shade, but what else can be made from a tree when it is cut down? Think about the chair you are sitting in, or the table or desk in front of you.

  • What is it made of? Is it made of wood?

Without soil to grow the tree, you wouldn't have most of the furniture in your house. In fact, you wouldn't have the house or apartment that you live in because it was made with materials that originally came from plants growing in the soil. WOW! I bet you didn't realize how important soil is to your life!

Clay is a special kind of soil.

  • Did you know that your plates, bowls, and mugs are probably made out of clay?

Clay comes from the earth just like the soil that plants are grown in, and it is used to make many objects that you use every day.

Besides making our earth beautiful, plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and fruits are all grown in soil and are very important to our survival. It all begins with soil and, without it, you wouldn't be here!

In the Got It? section, you will use your new knowledge of soil and its importance.

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We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.