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Let's find out what materials are contained in regular soil. Place several handfuls of soil in a large wide-mouthed jar. Cover the soil with about 1 inch of water. Cap the jar, and shake it thoroughly.

As the materials settle, you will note that the heaviest materials settle first and the lightest last. (The layers will form in order of the weight of the particles.)

After the materials have settled, carefully pour off the water, disturbing the sediments as little as possible.

Examine a small sample from each of the layers of sediment with a hand lens.

Identify and list how many objects other than grains of sand, pebbles, and rocks can be found in a sample of soil (e.g., crumbled bits of plant material, insects).

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