Last week we learned all about worms in our class. Why worms, you ask? I'm a big believer in cross-curricular studies and integrating a topic throughout all content areas. The kids seem to stay more engaged (which is what we want!) and learn more (which is what we want!).
For our school science fair project we chose the popular growing gummy bear experiment, but
we I adapted it a little and used gummy worms instead, because little did my kiddos know that we'd be studying REAL worms too!
We started out by having a class discussion about what we thought we already knew about real worms. We made some predictions about vocabulary that might be used in the books we would read. Here is some of their work.
After making our predictions, we read this book I got from Barnes and Noble. It is a great book for early readers and it gives the information on a level they can understand better.
As we read, we started completing a tree map. I didn't let them fill it completely, just one fact for each section. I wanted to emphasize to them the importance of reading multiple books to gain information instead of just relying on one text.
We then read a couple more non-fiction texts and listened to a PebbleGo article about earthworms. I loved this book because it was a rhyming book and was funny- the kids were in stitches when we learned that (gasp!) worms poop too! :-)
Don't forget to throw in a little fiction in there too! Gotta love the Diary series by Doreen Cronin.
We completed our tree map and wrote a fact we learned. Yep, you guessed it. Most of them couldn't get over the pooping thing. Shocker. But I was impressed by a couple others.
A worm can eat leaves.
A worm can do number 2. (He even labeled the "numb2," bless his heart!)
A worm can dig under ground. (Look at the detail on that worm- those are the hairs on the segments that help them crawl. Not sure how I missed giving him a stamp!)
Then the real fun began! I brought the kids up a few at a time to explore the worms. Some were super excited; others not so much... girls AND boys. I had two different species so they could compare and contrast them. I'm seriously not sure who had more fun, them or me watching them! (I was sad to discover many of them had never even seen a real worm. Too much TV and video games, I tell ya.)
I so wish I could show you their faces, because their expressions were priceless, but have to follow privacy procedures.
We recorded our observations after we explored the worms.
Slimy, tickle, crazy (there was one worm that really was going a little berserk the whole time, trying to jump out of the plate), cold. "I saw the worms move and tickle me."
Pink, wiggle, wet, funny. "The worms was playing in my hand."
Slimy, cold, crazy, pink. The worms was escaping from the plate.
This was only part of our worm study. Stay tuned for a sequel post all about our gummy worm experiment.
All of the recording sheets came from Kristen Smith's All About Worms unit.