Outdoor Learning - Topsoil Testing

Outdoor Learning - Topsoil Testing

Lesson 6 of 9 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Secondary
  • Year 8
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Geography
  • Social
  • Outdoor Learning
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students investigate the role of topsoil and the importance of topsoil to food production and biodiversity. They analyse the class data and work in groups to create a map of topsoil quality at their school and to make suggestions for improving topsoil quality.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand what topsoil is and why it is important to humans and our environment.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • identify the quality of topsoil at their school and recognise actions that can be taken to improve the quality of topsoil
  • apply appropriate mathematical theories to solve for volume

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:

Year 8 Mathematics:

Students learn:

  • the interconnections between human activity and geomorphological processes, and ways of managing distinctive landscapes (AC9HG8K04)

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-1, GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-7, GE4-8.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards:
By the end of Year 8, students describe the effects of human activity or hazards on environments.

Resources required


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • creativity
  • critical thinking

Additional info

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium - oversee activity and facilitate discussion.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.

This is an original Cool+ lesson.

Related professional learning

Introduction to Secondary STEM

Quick summary: This course will help you understand the essential foundations of STEM teaching and learning and provide opportunities to help build knowledge, skills and confidence to take on STEM in your classroom. 

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