Starting with Soil: Organic Exploration App

Organic Exploration Starting with Soil App

What it is: Starting with Soil is a free app from the Whole Kids Foundation that teaches the importance of healthy soil and lets kids discover the harmonious roles that plants, animals, and people play in keeping it healthy. This high-quality, interactive app lets kids explore the life in soil through lots of interactive experiences. They can use a compost wheel to learn about which things can be composted; learn about pollinators and their role in the food we eat; explore fungi, bacteria, protozoa, algae, and nemotodes with a built-in microscope; and learn how long it takes to make an inch of healthy soil with an interactive timeline. Kids can also plant digital seeds, make it rain, and build their own digital compost pile.

How to integrate the Starting with Soil App in your classroom: The Starting with Soil app is a fantastic interactive experience that will help your students learn about how nature creates organic soil, the role that animals and cover crops play in organic farming, how different plants can thrive together, the importance of pollinators, and how compost is made and its part in growing healthy food. This free app can be used as a provocation for an inquiry unit about soil, in your science classroom, or during discussions about ecosystems or nutrition.

My favorite part of this app is the way it let’s kids explore soil. Rather than telling them why healthy soil is important, it reveals its importance through discovery, exploration, and play.

Follow-up learning by giving students the opportunity to put that new understanding to work. Have students design pollinator hotels for your school yard or garden, start a composting bin, or start a school garden. Check out the Whole Kids Foundation site for fantastic resources, ideas, and grant opportunities.

Tips: Starting with Soil is available on the App Store and Google Play.

The Potato Story

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What it is: The Potato Story is a great interactive from the UK that teaches students about food (specifically the potato) and how it gets from field to fork.  The story focuses on how the potato is grown and harvested and it’s journey from the farm to the table where kids eat it.  It also teaches the nutritional values of the potato and the part they play in a balanced diet.  The interactive for kids is spectacular, but the accompanying resources for teachers is truly incredible.  The first lesson of the Potato Story is the life cycle of the plant.  Each lesson comes with instructions for the teacher, the interactive portion for the student, additional educational weblinks, and pdf worksheets, quizzes, and printable lesson.  The second lesson is a simulation where students can grow their own potatoes and learn about healthy root systems and plant needs.  The third lesson teaches about plant growth and the plant life cycle.  The final lesson is all about making healthy eating choices and nutrition.

How to integrate The Potato Story into the classroom: The Potato Story is a fantastic interactive that takes students on a journey of the food they eat.  Students learn about plant life cycles, necessary elements for growing a plant, and nutrition.  The Potato Story interactives are perfect as a center in a science class, completing individually in a lab setting, or completing as a class with an interactive whiteboard.

Tips: Be sure not to skip the teacher section on this site, there are SO many great ideas and extension activities included.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Potato Story in your classroom.