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Second Grade Soil Science

November 18, 2020 | Melia McHugh

The Second Grade has been investigating soil in our newest science unit. They have been learning about the components that make up soil and observing different soil types.

Students started off the unit by observing different soil samples from around Hoboken. They then put spoonfuls of the specific soils in a tube with water. They shook the tubes and let them rest.


They observed that the soil settled into layers. As they made observations, we started to compile a list of new scientific terms to use to describe what was in the tubes.


After becoming more familiar with these new scientific terms, and examining several types of soil, Second Graders had a chance to think about what “ingredients” or “components” make up soil.

First, they brainstormed what ingredients are needed to make cookies.

Then, they discussed what ingredients they needed to make soil. They had a chance to combine a piece of leaf, clay, silt, and sand to make their own soil mixtures.


In our latest lessons, students have been learning about weathering and how soil is formed. They were able to see what happens to dry lima beans when they are put in to a cup with water with a lid.


Just like in nature, the beans absorbed the water and when they expanded, they increased in size and caused the cup to break. Ask you child what happened with the full cup of water with a lid when it was placed in the freezer overnight.

Melia McHugh

Teacher, Grade 2 Forests Class

Melia McHugh first started working with young children at a private school that cared for children from infancy through third grade while in her early teens. She enjoyed her experience working with all age groups, especially her time during college when she taught arts and crafts to kindergarten through third grade students during the summer camp season. After completing a degree in Anthropology and working as a trainer in the Human Resources industry, Ms. McHugh returned to her first passion and got a degree to teach and work with children again. After seven years of teaching high school social studies, Ms. McHugh decided to stay home with her two children.

Ms. McHugh and her husband discovered Mustard Seed School when it was time for their oldest son to enter kindergarten. Soon after he started school, she started to substitute teach at Mustard Seed and later worked part-time in the Nest and as a maternity leave replacement in grades four and five. Ms. McHugh enjoys watching every child, including two of her sons, thrive in the community and environment that Mustard Seed excels at providing for each and every student. When not at work, Ms. McHugh enjoys spending time at the beach or outdoors with her husband and three sons. Ms. McHugh also loves history, reading, and resting.

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