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ARTICLE

Soil – introduction

Discover the world beneath our feet with Planet Earth and Beyond resources for NZ Curriculum levels 1 and 2.   Without soil, we would be hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless and breathless. And it’s ...

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ARTICLE

The phosphorus cycle

Phosphorus is a chemical element found on Earth in numerous compound forms, such as the phosphate ion (PO43-), located in water, soil and sediments. The quantities of phosphorus in soil are ...

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ARTICLE

The nitrogen cycle

Nitrogen is the most abundant element in our planet’s atmosphere. Approximately 78% of the atmosphere is made up of nitrogen gas (N2). Nitrogen is a crucially important component for all life. It ...

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ARTICLE

Soil properties

All soils contain mineral particles, organic matter, water and air. The combinations of these determine the soil’s properties – its texture, structure, porosity, chemistry and colour. Soil ...

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ARTICLE

Earthworms’ role in the ecosystem

Charles Darwin is well known for his work on natural selection. He published widely on topics ranging from barnacles to geology to plants. He travelled the world and saw many unusual animals ...

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ARTICLE

The role of observation in science

Observation is something we often do instinctively. Observation helps us decide whether it’s safe to cross the road and helps to determine if cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven ...

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ARTICLE

Soil formation

New Zealand has a wide variety of landscapes. A day’s sightseeing journey might include volcanic plateaus, rolling hills, river basins and coastal lands. It is easy to notice how the scenery ...

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ARTICLE

What is in soil?

What’s in soil? When you pick up a handful of soil, what do you see? All soil is made up of inorganic mineral particles, organic matter (including living things), air and water. Inorganic mineral ...

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ARTICLE

Breeding red-fleshed apples – introduction

Find out how and why a red-fleshed apple variety is being bred in New Zealand, and discover how genetic information, consumer research and sensory science are all involved. Red-fleshed apples – ...

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ARTICLE

The role of clover

Clover grows well in New Zealand pasture and has long been used to get nitrogen into the soil. It was introduced in the 1800s from England along with most of our pasture plants. Introducing ...

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ARTICLE

Soil is a habitat

A habitat is an area in which something lives. Soil is a habitat, and it is full of life! Around 25% of everything alive on the Earth uses soil as a habitat. Some animals live on top of the soil ...

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ARTICLE

Fertiliser

Just as we have essential needs for our growth, plants also have essential needs for their survival. These include: sunlight air water nutrients appropriate temperature. As long as plants have ...

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ARTICLE

Soil names

Most people are familiar with the Linnean classification system used to identify living things. We use scientific names to describe and categorise living things precisely. For example, New ...

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ARTICLE

Farming development and changing landscapes

Farming is a way of life in New Zealand. Farms cover about half of the country’s land and are important to our economy. Agriculture has shaped who we are as a nation, but it has also had a big ...

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ACTIVITY

Observing earthworms

In this activity, students use observation to explore earthworm anatomy and the nature of science. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: identify various physical ...

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ARTICLE

Farm management practices

Farming is an economic venture – farmers work the land to gain an income. Many New Zealand farmers have an interest in preserving and enhancing the land for future generations. In order to ...

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TEACHER PLD

Junior science

These science resources – written specifically for the junior school (level 1 and 2) develop science ideas about water; melting and freezing; solids, liquids and gases; bubbles; earthquakes ...

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ARTICLE

Investigating earthworms – introduction

To most of us, one earthworm resembles another. Although earthworms do have common characteristics, species differ widely in their size, skin colour and in the roles they play in the soil ...

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ARTICLE

Soils are all different

If you dig a hole in your school playing field, will the soil there look the same as the soil in your home garden? Is soil the same all over New Zealand? All soils have some things in common ...

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