Soils Toolbox

Why is forest soil different from desert soil? What organisms are able to survive in the harsh alpine ecosystem? Learn about the processes that contribute to soil formation in Utah's amazing landscape.

What's in the Soils Toolbox?

Sieve, Soil Thermometers, Trowel, Microscope Slides (8), Soil Sampler (includes boring rod), Magnifying lenses, Clear rulers


  • Mole skull, Juncus, Willow, Morning Glory, Crab Grass, Austrian Pine, Oregon Grape, Cactus, Mormon Tea, Sage, Rabbitbrush, Aster
  • Insects in Vials:  Pill Bug (Crustacea: Isopodalem), Earwig (Dermaptera), Water Strider (Hempitera: Gerridae), Ants (Hymenoptera), Centipede (Chilopoda), Velvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae)
  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Topsoil
  • Subsoil (see parent rocks)
  • Mivida (Utah’s State Soil)
  • 2 Parent rocks
  • Sediment Column

Printed materials:
A Handful of Dirt by Raymond Bial
Dirt by Steve Tomecek
Dig In! Hands-On Soil Investigations, NSTA press
Backyard Detective Critters up Close by Nic Bishop
Life In A Bucket of Soil by Silverstein
Soil Science Simplified by H. Kohnke
Soil: Digging Into Earth’s Vital Resource by Stille
There’s A Hair In My Dirt! By Gary Larson
Working Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer
Globe Soil Color Chart

Teaching Toolboxes include relevant curriculum tied to Utah State Core Curriculum Standards.

Submit a Request for this Teaching Toolbox