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.

Simple Science

What it is:  Simple Science is a collection of informative science music videos for use in the elementary classroom.  The videos can be used to reinforce science learning objective and science concepts.  The videos can be watched from the website for free or purchased on DVD.  Simple Science video topics include: adapting, micro organisms, forces, changes, dissolving, how we see, changing circuits, keeping healthy, life cycles (flowers), gasses, water cycle, sun, earth, moon, changing sounds, moving and growing, habitats, keeping warm, solids vs. liquids, plants, friction, teeth, circuits and conductors, materials, rocks and soil, magnets and springs, light and shadows, air, atoms, DNA, Earth, electricity, insects, and magnetism.  The format reminds me of School House Rock.  Lyrics for all songs can be downloaded for students to follow along.

How to integrate Simple Science into the classroom:   Simple Science videos are perfect for introducing or reinforcing science concepts.  The songs and videos break down science concepts so they are easy to understand.  Use Simple Science with a projector for whole class instruction or set up a science center on classroom computers where students can stop by and watch the videos.


Tips: The Simple Science website did not work for me using the Opera browser. I was successful with the links using Firefox.


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Simple Science  in your classroom.