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Sandy Samples

Source Institutions

    Lawrence Hall of Science

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Sandy Samples

In this collecting/comparing activity, learners work with samples of sand from different places like a lakefront, river, or ocean beach. Learners note similarities and differences among sand samples—looking at them with just their own eyes, drawing them, describing them, rubbing them in their hands, looking at them through a magnifying glass to see different grain sizes, and examining other things in the sand such as tiny pieces of wood, plastic, or shells.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • One or more handfuls of sand (from different places)
  • Small plastic bags or containers
  • Magnifying glass
  • Crayons
  • Pencil
  • Printout of activity


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Oceans and Water
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Collecting
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



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