Worksheet: Soils

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the way soil is formed out of rocks and organic matter.


Pick the sentence that tells us what soil is made from.

  • ARocks, decayed plants, minerals, and decayed animals
  • BOnly decayed plants and animals
  • COnly minerals
  • DOnly rocks


What is humus?

  • AA human leg bone
  • BDead plants
  • CDecomposed organic matter
  • DA dip made from chickpeas


Why is humus an important part of soil?

  • AIt helps preserve fossils.
  • BIt helps prevent soil erosion.
  • CIt adds nutrients to the soil, which help plants to grow.


Desert soil is sandy and does not contain much humus. Sand does not hold water very well and this affects the types of plants that can grow there.

Which of the plants listed is especially adapted to grow in sandy soil?

  • ARice
  • BCactus
  • CMango
  • DApple tree


Why do farmers add fertilizers to their soil?

Agriculture drone fly to sprayed fertilizer on the green tea fields-72 ppi
  • ATo prevent disease in plants
  • BTo control pests
  • CTo replace the nutrients


When plants die, they decompose (rot). What do these dead plants add to the soil?

  • ACarbon dioxide
  • BOxygen
  • CNutrients
  • DWater


Complete the following sentence: Different types of soils have properties.

  • Adifferent
  • Bthe same


A class measured how long it took for water to drain through different types of soil. Look at the results and then complete the sentence.

Particle SizeLargeSmall
Time It Takes for 5 mL of Water to Drain (Seconds)315

Water drains easily in soils with smaller particles.

  • Aless
  • Bmore


Which of these things are soils not made out of?

  • AWater and air
  • BOrganic matter (remains of plants and animals)
  • CMetals
  • DRocks


Plants thrive in soils with lots of nutrients. Which of these materials provides the plant with the most nutrients?

  • ASand
  • BOrganic matter
  • CWater
  • DGravel


Which of these is the first stage in the formation of soil?

  • AOrganic matter from plants and animals adds nutrients to the soil.
  • BRocks and pebbles get broken down and become bits of sand.
  • CMicrobes break down dead plants and animals into the mixture.


Which of these is a type of soil?

  • ASedimentary
  • BGrassy
  • CClay


Complete this sentence: Some soils water easily, while others do not.

  • Achange
  • Bcreate
  • Cdrain


One way to compare soils is to investigate the size of their particles. Look at the soil samples shown. Which of these soils has the largest particles?

  • AGravelly soil
  • BSandy soil
  • CClay soil

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