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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Exploring Nature: Worms

My girls have always been fascinated by worms. They will run screaming from a tiny spider, but will gladly hold a wiggly worm in their hands. They've learned that worms are a welcome presence in our gardens and will always give the lost worms they find in their sandbox a new home in our garden. This is the extent of their knowledge about worms, so I thought it was time to learn about worms and why they are so helpful to our gardens.

We started by reading the book, Yucky Worms by Vivian French. In the book, a young boy learns about worms from his Grandmother. He learns that they aren't yucky, but that they are our friends. We were fascinated by the fact that worms have 5 pairs of hearts and we tried to wriggle around like a worm. We learned that they help fertilize the soil and that the tunnels they build help keep the soil loose. By the time we were done with the book, we were ready to try to find some worms of our own.  

We decided to make a "worm hotel" so we could watch the worms crawl and see the tunnels they made. We made a version of this worm farm from A Mom With a Lesson Plan. I cut the top off of a 2-liter soda bottle for our hotel. While AJ and I looked for worms, Lizzie started layering the sand and soil. We started with a layer of soil from the garden, added a layer of sand, and then a layer of partially composted materials from our compost bin. She repeated these layers about 3 times.

Despite having rained the day before, we still had difficulties finding our worms. Eventually, after digging far into our compost bin, we found five worms to observe. They immediately started tunneling. We watched in fascination for a long time as they dug and crawled around.

Our layers didn't stay neat for very long, but that's okay. The worms were crawling around too much! It didn't take long for the girls to actually see the tunnels a worm leaves behind in the soil. We took the worms inside and made a sleeve to fit over the bottle with dark construction paper and a cute little sign that says "Worm Hotel." We've been observing them for a week now, and tomorrow we'll release them back into the compost bin. I know they'll be happy to go home!

Are your kids fascinated by worms?
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Rebekah said...

What a fun idea! I have to admit worms make me shiver, but I try not to show it to my daughter who is fascinated by all bugs.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We have worms in a compost bin! I will need to try this with JDaniel.

Ms. Liz said...

We did this when we were working on Diary of a Worm, and I must admit I was a squirmy mess! :D The kids still love to talk about worms though, I will have to get the Yucky Worms book. Thanks for sharing :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

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