Lesson Worksheet: Properties of Soil: Aeration and Fertility Science

In this worksheet, we will practice investigating the effect the composition of soil has on its properties, such as the drainage of water and humus structure, and relating that to soil aeration and fertility.


Water drains through the soil.

Which factors affect how quickly water can drain through the soil?

  • AHow aerated the soil is
  • BThe size of the soil particles
  • CThe amount of space between the particles of the soil
  • DAll of the answers are correct.


Look at the pictures of sand, silt, and clay soils below.

Why will the sand soil drain water the fastest?

  • ABecause it has the smallest spaces between the particles
  • BBecause its particles are the smallest
  • CBecause its particles are the most densely packed
  • DBecause its particles are the biggest
  • EBecause it is the least aerated


Daniel investigates how quickly water drains through sandy, clay, and silt soils. He pours 200 mL of water onto 3 samples of soil. This is what the samples look like after 2 minutes.

Which sample is the clay soil?

  • ASample 1
  • BSample 2
  • CSample 3


Jackson investigates how quickly different types of soil drain water. He pours the same amount of water over the three types of soil and times how long the water takes to drain fully through the soil.

A table of his results is shown.

Estimate the time taken, in minutes, for the clay soil to drain water fully.

  • A3 minutes
  • B4 minutes
  • C1 minute
  • D9 minutes


James investigates how quickly water drains through sand, clay, and silt soils. He uses the same amount of water and the same amount of each soil type to make his experiment fair. He times how long it takes for the water to drain through each soil type.

A graph of his results is shown.

Which bar shows the results for sand soil?

  • AA
  • BB
  • CC


Mia adds some soil from her garden and some water to a jar. She gives the jar a good shake. She allows everything to settle and observes the results.

What property of the soil is she testing?

  • AFertility
  • BDrainage of water
  • CAeration
  • DHolding of water


Fill in the blank: The more in a soil, the more fertile the soil.

  • Ahumus
  • Bgravel
  • Cclay
  • Dsand


Amelia and Madison put equal amounts of sand soil, silt soil, and clay soil into three equal-sized measuring cylinders so that each measuring cylinder had only one type of soil. They then added an equal amount of water to each, shook them well, and allowed them to settle. Here are their results.

Put the soils in order of fertility, starting with the most fertile.


Emma and Noah collected samples of three types of soil. They tested the drainage of each and the amount of humus in each. All their tests were carried out accurately and fairly.

A table of their results is shown.

Soil TypeAmount of Water Drained in 5 minutes (mL)Amount of Humus (mL)

Which soil type has the highest fertility and medium drainage?

  • ASilt
  • BSand
  • CClay


Look at this table of the properties of the three types of soil.

PropertiesSoil Type
Drainage of waterFastSlowMedium
Holding of waterLowHighMedium

Which soil type is soil A?

  • ASilt
  • BSand
  • CClay

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