Dirt and Plants
Age 8-10: Concept 1 - Interdependence: Unit 1

In this unit, your child will follow the life cycle of a plant and experiment with various soils and environments to grow plants. She will explore the layers of the earth and the interdependence that exists among living things and the earth. She will also invent a new species of plant and describe its habitat and relationship with other living things.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the literature unit Little House in the Big Woods.


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books at a 4th or 5th grade reading level
  • Able to write an organized paragraph
  • Usually used by children in fourth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Soil (2 Days)
  • Lesson 2: Plants (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: Seeds (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Photosynthesis
  • Lesson 5: Trees (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Compost and Decomposers
  • Lesson 7: Plants, Animals, and People
  • Final Project: A New Species of Plant

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Compose a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama selections. (Language Arts)
  • Use oral and written language to present information in a sequenced, logical manner. (Language Arts)
  • Investigate and describe how plants pass through distinct stages in their life cycle including growth, survival, and reproduction. (Science)
  • Analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct and indirect evidence. (Science)
  • Communicate valid conclusions. (Science)
  • Conduct science experiments and investigations. (Science)
  • Determine how composting recycles discarded plant and animal material. (Science)
  • Determine the ability of soil to support the growth of many plants, including those important to our food supply. (Science)
  • Determine the relationship between heat and decaying plant matter in a compost pile. (Science)
  • Explain why the number of seeds a plant produces depends on variables such as light, water, nutrients, and pollination. (Science)
  • Follow the scientific method. (Science)
  • Identify and describe the life cycle of living things. (Science)
  • Identify and describe the process of photosynthesis. (Science)
  • Identify and record properties of soils such as color, texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of plants. (Science)
  • Identify plant products and their importance. (Science)
  • Identify the basic components of soil: sand, clay, and humus. (Science)
  • Investigate and observe that different soils absorb water at different rates. (Science)
  • Observe and describe how environmental conditions determine how plants survive and grow in a particular environment. (Science)
  • Observe and describe the properties of soil: color, texture, and capacity to hold water. (Science)
  • Observe and discuss how bees pollinate flowers. (Science)
  • Observe and measure how the quantities and qualities of nutrients, light, and water in the environment affect plant growth. (Science)
  • Observe, describe, and record properties of germinating seeds. (Science)
  • Recognize the impact of the environment on living things. (Science)
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