Preschool – Kindergarten

1 Introducing Dirt

Objectives/Assessment Targets

Students will:

  • Use descriptive words to talk about soil.
  • Practice handling dirt safely.
  • Practice effective hand washing.

Activity Preparation

This introduction to the garden lesson is an opportunity to review tool safety, hand washing, and garden rules that you will be reinforcing throughout the year.


  • Samples of soil and dirt in containers
  • Drawing materials and Introducing Dirt worksheets in the student workbooks

Activity 1: Safe Play with Dirt

Welcome students to the kinder-garden. Review rules and safety practices. Take students on a guided tour of the garden. Invite students to touch the dirt and use descriptive words to describe what they observe.



  • What would you like to know about dirt?
  • What role does dirt play in our garden?
  • How will we handle dirt in the garden?


Explain that we have dirt in the garden. Dirt is what soil is made of. Soil also has other living things in it, like compost and bugs. Soil is essential for life. Plants need soil to grow, animals and insects make it their home, and children can have fun playing in it. There are safe ways to play outside, and touching the soil is not harmful.



  • What are some things in the dirt that are yucky?
  • When we play outside, what parts of our bodies can get dirty? (Hands, face, shoes, clothes, etc.)
  • After playing in the dirt, what do you do to get the dirt off? (Stomp-a-stomp, brusha-brush, scrub-a-dub)
  • What else can we do to make sure dirt stays outside? (Take off our shoes—if allowed)

Common Core State Standard SL.K.3

Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.


Invite students to draw on the cover of their workbook. Prompt them to draw something that they wonder about or are excited to explore in the garden this year. Direct them to include what they learned about dirt and what they want to know more about dirt (dirt is the foundation of most early education lessons).

Activity 2: Singing “Be Alert in the Dirt”


Lead students in a song about playing safely and healthfully in the dirt:


“Be Alert in the Dirt”
By Tickle Tune Typhoon
After playing in the yard, the playground or the park
Give your hands a scrub-a-dub (echo) and leave the dirt outside
(Wash hands)
Give your hands a scrub-a-dub (echo)
(Wash hands)
Give your clothes a brush-a-brush (echo)
(Brush off clothes)
Give your shoes a stomp-a-stomp (echo) and leave the dirt outside
(Stomp feet)
Herbicides, pesticides, and toxics you don’t want inside
Precaution is the word and remember to not eat the dirt
Wash your fruit and vegetables so tasty and delectable
The garden’s where you grow ‘em, wear gloves when you dig ‘em and hoe ‘em
And remember to not eat the dirt
Oh bright colors of life filled with love sing and dance all around us to show that we care.
Yes the colors of all of the children are circling round the green Earth that we share
Soil everywhere we can learn to be aware
For safety here and there be alert when you play in the dirt
Give your hands a scrub-a-dub (echo)
(Wash hands)
Give your clothes a brush-a-brush (echo)
(Brush off clothes)
Give your shoes a stomp-a-stomp (echo) and leave the dirt outside
(Stomp feet)
Scrub-a-dub (echo)
(Wash hands)
Brush-a-brush (echo)
(Brush off clothes)
Stomp-a-stomp (echo) and safely play outside
(Stomp feet)



The content found in this demo chapter has been adapted from Berkeley Public Schools’ Gardening and Cooking Program via


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K-12 Teaching Science 2018 (student manual demo) Copyright © by Berkeley Unified School District is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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