WebQuest for Grades 9 - 12, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University


Soil is one of the most important natural resources on the earth's surface. Animals require nutrients from plants that grow in soil. The different layers of soil provide a home for some animals such as worms and insects and provides a foundation for roads and surfaces.

At the conclusion of this WebQuest, students will be able to describe the composition and textures of ideal soil.  Students will identify the soil horizons and their purposes.

Use this activity worksheet to help complete the following steps to this WebQuest.

Step 1:  Identify the four essential elements of soil and what percent each makes of soil.

Step 2.  Summarize how each of the four components helps soil quality. 

                1. Water

                2. Air                  

                3. Mineral Matter

                4. Organic Matter 

Step 3. List the two types of Mineral Nutrients and describe the components of each.

Step 4:  Lets dig a little deeper and discover the layers of soil. After the short narration on layers of soil, venture on to learn more about layers of soil.

Step 5:  Getting a better feel for soil. There are three main types of soil texture: clay, silt, and sand. Use the soil samples your teacher has provided and predict the type of each sample by feeling the soil, note characteristics of the soil sample.


Step 6: Now that you have recorded your predictions, learn why soil texture is important, then Click here to learn about soil texture.


Assignment 1: 
Complete the activity worksheet.

Assignment 2:
Using the knowledge you have gained from this activity, conduct a soil sampling with two other classmates. Identify the soil layers of your sample and record all information collected (make sure to answer all questions on the soil sampling link) . Then determine the soil texture of the sample. Use the Determining Soil Texture by the “Feel Method” for additional help. At the conclusion of the activity, prepare a short presentation of what you and your classmates discovered.

Now that you have completed this WebQuest you now know the four essential elements of soil, the soil horizons and how to determine soil texture.

Rubric for Assignment 1 & 2




Points Available

Points Earned


Worksheet Completion          
Soil Sampling          
Soil Texture          

This WebQuest was created by teachers participating in Missouri's Agriculture in the Classroom program at Missouri State University through a USDA grant.  The template on this site was adapted from a template from The WebQuest Page and the original was designed by Dr. Lyndon Irwin.  Assistance for this project was provided by Mrs. Barbara Irwin, M.S. and Mrs. Diane Olson, M.S.

Teachers are encouraged to adapt this lesson for classroom use only.  No part of this publication may be transmitted, stored, recorded or published in any form without written permission from Missouri Farm Bureau. This page was developed by Katie King Allen, reviewed by Lyndon and the late Barbara Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau. Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau.