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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Mud Pie Science Activity 1
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Dirt is Dirt! 
Activity 1


To see that soil is made up of different parts




soil from the yard, jar with lid, water

1. Fill the jar half full with soil.

2. Pour in water until it nearly reaches the top.

3. Place the lid on the jar and shake.

4. Let the jar stand 25-30 minutes. 

Image of soil sample with water in a jar with lid

image of a flashing light bulbThink About This:

1. How many layers do you see?

2. How big are the pieces on the bottom? 

3. How big are the pieces on top? 

4. Is there anything floating on the top?


1. Use a plastic jar. Follow steps 1-3. Remove lid to allow the water to evaporate. Once the water is gone, slit the jar and separate the layers. Compare the layers.

2. Repeat the activity using a soil sample from a different part of the yard. Compare the two jars. 

image of a litte cartoon houseimage of a childimage of a magnifying glassimage of a dump truck

ARS- Florence
"Ag"-tivitiesSoil SleuthsMore Dirt

Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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