Return to Biology Index
Judith Lessin Rogers Elementary School
7345 N. Washtenaw Avenue
Chicago IL 60645
Primary children will be able to:
identify living and non-living things.
understand the importance of earthworms to the soil.
name some basic facts about earthworms.
recognize basic "worm" vocabulary words.
demonstrate vermicomposting techniques.
understand that different living things need different environments
Earthworms Shop Towels Gummy Worms
Water Paper Plates Knifes
Containers Scissors Top Soil
Sand Hardboiled Eggs Acetone
Tape Recorder Rap Tape Worksheets
Microphone Magnifier Ruler
Optional Materials Needed:
Balance Scale Terrarium Books
Flashlight Prism Food Processor
Socks Markers Transfers
1. Distribute Gummy Worms. Discuss living vs. non-living things. Access
children's prior knowledge of worms through discussion.
2. Distribute worms, one wet and one dry paper towel, and the following
worksheets: (a) Worm Watching Guide (b) Worm Words (c) Worm Diagram.
3. Discuss the following: (a) Is your worm a living thing? How do you
know? (b) What shape is your earthworm? (c) What color is your
earthworm? (d) How long is your earthworm? (e) Does your earth worm
have legs, eyes, ears, nose, hair, mouth? (f) Is there a difference
between the top side of your earthworm and underneath? Can you
describe the difference? (g) How does the worm's skin feel? (h) Do
you think the earthworm has a skeleton? (i) How does the worm move?
(j) Can a worm move backwards? (k) Does a worm have any special
features? Describe them. (l) Does a worm prefer a wet or dry paper
4. Referring to their diagrams, have the students identify where the
following features are on or in their worms: (a) clitellum;
(b) gizzard; (c) crop; (d) anus; (e) mouth; (f) hearts; (g) segments.
5. As background information, for the adults who may be teaching this unit
to their students, discuss reproduction in a worm.
6. Distribute sheet "Wormy Activities In the Classroom". Discuss the
activities described below.
a. Write and illustrate a story from a Worm's perspective.
b. Weigh lunch leftovers for your class after they have been
chopped up by a food processor. Find out how many kilograms
of waste your class produces in a day, week, month, and year.
Feed chopped up waste to your worms.
c. Share class knowledge with others by writing a newsletter.
d. Make a Worm Puppet from an old sock.
e. Have students make "Worms and Dirt". Crumble chocolate wafer
cookies and make instant chocolate pudding. Place gelatin
worms in the bottom of dessert cups, pour pudding over the
top, and then sprinkle the crumbled cookies over.
f. Make Tee Shirt Transfers or Buttons which proclaim "Worms Eat
g. Incorporate descriptive words about worms into creative
h. Research the giant Australian Earthworms.
i. Shine a flashlight through a prism so that it casts a
spectrum. The worm will crawl through a red light and avoid
7. Wet a cotton ball with nail polish remover. Put the cotton ball by a
worm's head. Then put the cotton ball by a worm's tail. Note any
difference in the response.
8. Distribute containers. Make a vermicomposter with sand, top soil, and
food waste. Put worms in containers. Feed worms and water soil on a
regular basis. Observe over time.
9. Play the audio tape "Worm Rap". Have students do the "Worm Rap".
The "Worm Rap", written by Caroline Haviland, can be found in the
publication, SCIENCE AND CHILDREN, JANUARY 1993.
A worm doesn't have any bones inside,
But that doesn't stop it from taking a ride.
Through the soil, Yeah, a worm is strong.
If it had to, it could carry 10 others along.
No bones, no bones, no bones, no bones
A worm has got no bones, no bones
A worm doesn't have any eyes to see,
But that doesn't mean it will bump into a tree.
It feels vibrations, deep in the ground,
And then it starts to move and wriggle around.
No eyes, no eyes, no eyes, no eyes,
A worm has got no eyes, no eyes.
A worm doesn't have any feet you know,
But that doesn't stop it from making a hole.
Deep in the soil when the rain comes down,
The worms will come out or they will drown.
No feet, no feet, no feet, no feet
A worm has got no feet, no feet
A worm doesn't have any teeth to chew,
But that doesn't stop it from eating food.
They take little bits of dirt in their mouth,
And when it's all eaten, rich soil comes out!
No teeth, no teeth, no teeth, no teeth,
A worm has got no teeth, no teeth.
No bones, no eyes, no feet, no teeth!
A worm has got no bones, eyes, feet, or teeth!
At the conclusion of this mini-teach unit on worms, students will be able
to identify living and non-living things, understand the importance of
earthworms to the soil, name some basic facts about earthworms, recognize basic
"worm" vocabulary words, demonstrate vermicomposting techniques, and understand
that different living things need different environments for living. Different
assessment techniques will be used including teacher observation, oral
questioning, written tests and worksheets, crayon drawings, and drama
presentations with sock worm puppets.