InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Soils, Systems, and Society
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Summary

This inquiry based module is designed for use in a preservice K-8 science methods course, but Units 1-3 could easily be modified for other types of courses. The module promotes geoscientific and systems thinking and emphasizes strong interdisciplinary connections between science content and society through locally relevant issues. This module consists of course discussions, map analysis, hands-on soil investigations, concept mapping of Earth systems, and the development of a standards-aligned K-8 Soils, Systems, and Society Kit composed of lesson plans, data sources, activities and artifacts for use in future elementary and middle school classrooms.

Strengths of the Module

Students who learn with this module will:
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the process of science and how to foster that understanding in their students
  • Engage in a data-rich activity that is well-aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Connect scientific investigations of soil with societal issues
  • Develop a set of lessons that they can take into their classrooms in the future
In working with data, students will:
  • Collect and interpret several different types of data about soils
  • Analyze, interpret, and compare spatially distributed data
NGSS Logo Very Small

These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

Supported Next Generation Science Standards:

Performance expectation: 5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
Science and engineering practices: Analyzing and interpreting data
Cross-cutting concepts: Systems and system models; patterns
Disciplinary core ideas: ESS2.D Weather and climate, ESS3.D Global climate change
Connections to nature of science: Scientific investigations use a variety of methods


A great fit for courses in:

  • Elementary science methods*
  • Earth science education
  • Secondary science methods
  • Introductory soil science
  • Environmental studies
  • Nature of science


Instructor Stories: How this module was adapted
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »