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Lesson 01 – Why Is Soil Important?

Read About the Importance of Soil


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.


Clay is tiny pieces of rock that turn into soft gluey mud when mixed with water.


A material is the substance that is used to make something.


Soil is a mixture of minerals and organisms that cover most of the earth’s surface and is where plants grow.

Why Is Soil Important?

Here is a riddle for you. Hover over the box for the answer:

You can find me all over Earth. I am usually dark brown. Plants grow in me. What am I?

If your answer is “dirt,” you are right! Scientists call dirt soil.

Keep reading to find out why soil is very important.

Food for People and Animals

Many of the foods we eat come from plants. Fruits and vegetables come from plants. Plants need soil to grow. Many animals get their food from plants. For example, squirrels eat nuts that grow on trees. Trees cannot grow without soil.

Some animals give us food. You probably know that milk comes from cows. Cows like to eat lots of grass, and grass needs soil to grow. If cows did not have grass to eat, they could not make milk.

Useful Materials

We get many useful materials from plants. From trees, we get wood for building homes and furniture. Scientists use some plants to make medicines. Without soil, trees and other plants could not grow.

We even use soil to make useful things. Clay is a special type of soil. We use clay to make dishes such as plates, bowls, and mugs.

A clay dish

Our Beautiful Earth

Plants make Earth beautiful. Forests, fields, and gardens are all places where plants grow. Without soil, trees could not grow in forests and grass could not grow in fields.

We need soil to grow the flowers in a garden. The plants that make Earth beautiful need soil.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.