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Humus Made up of bits of dead plants and animals.
Sand Made up of tiny bits of rock. You can see and feel the rocks with your fingers.
Silt Made up of very small bits of rock. They are too small to see with your eyes alone.
Clay Made up of teeny, tiny bits of rock. You cannot feel the rock with your fingers.
Loam A Mixture of humus, sand, silt, and clay. It is used for growing plants.
Weathering This process happen when pieces of rock break off because of wind and water.
Erosion Bits of rock and soil are carried away by water. The wind blows the bits of rocks away and they land in other places.
Soil Soil is made up of water, air, humus, and tiny bits of rock. It helps plants grow and gives animals homes. People use clay to make bricks and pottery. We use loam to grow vegetables.
Soil is formed in layers
Top Layer The top layer has lots of humus. Ants and worms live here.
Middle This layer doesn’t have much humus. This layer has small rocks.
Bottom Layer This layer is made up of solid rock, called bedrock.
How are rocks broken down? The wind will move sand and dirt against the rocks and water wears them down. After thousands of years of this happening, the rocks become sand and soil.
Weathering Is when wind and water make rocks break into smaller pieces.
How do rock pieces move? Rocks break and rain and wind carry the pieces away. This is called erosion.
How can you tell which soil holds water better? Plants drink water that comes from the soil. Soils that hold water better are the darker soils, like humus. Soils that don’t hold much water are lighter, like sand.