Living Together Topic

Experiment – Types of soil

On the topic of living together, your child is required to know how organisms are adapted to certain living condition.

Study this question to understand which soil should you choose for the cactus plant to grow healthily.

 

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Jacob had three types of soil. He wanted to test which soil is most suitable to plant his cactus in. He lined three identical funnels with filter paper, then placed each type of soil in a separate funnel. He placed each funnel in identical measuring cylinders. He then poured 100ml of water into each funnel. After 15 minutes, he measured the volume of water in each measuring cylinder.

 

The setup is as shown:

He recorded his results as shown below:

 

Which soil (A, B or C) is most suitable to plant his cactus in? Explain your answer.

 

STEP 1

Identify the type of soil cacti should be planted in.

Since cacti are desert plants, they should be planted in soil that retains little water.

 

STEP 2

Identify which of the soils (A, B or C) retained the least water.

Retains the least water allows water to flow through the easiest and the greatest volume of water is collected in the measuring cylinder

Evidence: The greatest volume of water was collected in the measuring cylinder from Soil C. This means that water flowed through Soil C the easiest and thus that Soil C retained the least water.

 

STEP 3

Explain how the structure of Soil C retains the least water. 

  1. Soil C has the largest air space between the particles
  2. Water can flow through Soil C the easiest
  3. Hence, the least water is retained

 

FINALLY, put your answer together

Question: Which soil (A, B or C) is most suitable to plant his cactus in? Explain your answer.

Answer: Soil C. Since cactus is a desert plant, it should be planted in soil that retains little water.

Evidence: The greatest volume of water was collected in the measuring cylinder from Soil C.  This means that water flowed through Soil C the easiest and thus that Soil C retained the least water.

Soil C has the largest air spaces between the particles. Thus Soil C is the most suitable to plant his cactus in.

 

Common mistakes

Wrong answer: Soil C. A high volume of water was collected in the measuring cylinder from Soil C. This means that water flowed through Soil C easily and thus that Soil C retained very little water.

This is not entirely wrong, but you have to note that the question asks which soil is most suitable to plant his cactus in. This means that you have to show comparison in your answer using superlatives, and not just describe Soil C without comparing it to the rest of the soils.

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Talk again soon!

Andy Ling

Guiding your child to be the master of science concepts

 

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