Lesson 6: Digging for Dirt: Soil Samples Copy

Lesson 6: Digging for Dirt!

Another form of trace evidence gets the “detective treatment” in this fascinating lesson, as learners explore the work of forensic geologists and sort through soil samples, and chart their observations in their detective notebooks!

Before starting the lab, ask students to examine their own clothing and shoes to see if there’s any evidence of where they have been (or what they had for breakfast!).

Forensic geology comes to the fore in this lesson; use this opportunity to point out that forensics has many specialties.

Lesson Objectives

  • Observe and compare four samples of soil
  • Identify samples as predominantly sand, clay or loam
  • Identify type of crime scene soil evidence by comparing to known samples

Next, simply click the links below for further instructions and steps on how to get started!


  • sandy soil
  • clay soil
  • loam
  • wipes
  • black marker
  • 75 portion cups
  • container
  • 15 dropper bottles
  • 15 foam plates
  • paper towels (not included)
  • tablespoon
  • Student Book pages (on Resource CD)

Student (Groups of Two)

  • 2 pencils
  • 1 foam plate with 1 set of soil samples
  • 2 hand lenses
  • 4 wooden splints
  • wipes