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This kindergarten worm lesson is based on Linda Glaser's book Wonderful Worms. Use them as a part of a bug or garden theme to help children learn about the physical characteristics and behaviors of earthworms.
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Lesson Plan with Live Worms!
Use this lesson plan to introduce kindergarten students to earthworms. Before the lesson take a walk around the school grounds to find a place where the children will be able to find earthworms to observe. You'll have the best luck after it has rained when the ground is still damp. If you can't find any worms, arrange to bring some into school in large jars or bowls filled with wet soil.
Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser
Chart paper and markers
Science notebooks or blank paper for each child
Pencils and crayons
Begin the lesson by showing the book Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser to the class. Ask the children what they know about earthworms. After a brief discussion begin reading the book. As you read stop to discuss anything that may be confusing or new to the children. After you finish reading the book, ask if there was anything that they were surprised to learn about earthworms, like that they are helpful or that they don't have eyes, ears or noses.
Draw a circle in the center of a large piece of chart paper and write the word "earthworm" in the circle. Then draw line coming out from the circle to make a word web. Fill in the web as a class telling things that they learned about earthworms from the book: where they live, what they eat, how they move, etc.
Tell the children that you are going to head outside for a worm hunt to find some earthworms to observe. Ask them to think about what they have learned and predict where they think that the best place to look for earthworms will be. Take the children outside to observe earthworms in their natural habitats. (If you didn't any earthworms when you looked while preparing for this lesson, have the children observe the worms that you brought into class.) After they have had time to observe discuss what they saw.
Have the students draw a picture and write about what they learned about earthworms in their science notebooks. Let the children share what they wrote. As they share you can informally assess their learning. Were they able to retell facts from the book and your discussions?
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More Teaching Ideas
Here are a few more ideas that you can you can use to build on what the children learned in the Wonderful Worms lesson.
- Teach the children more about the anatomy of an earthworm. Draw a large picture of a worm on a piece of paper. Label the anterior and posterior (front and back ends), the segments, the clitellum (the band near the front of the worm) and the mouth. Then give the children their own diagrams and a set of the names of the body parts printed on small address labels. Let them label their diagrams with the labels.
- Read Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. Write another day's diary entry for the worm as a shared writing activity.
- Add some art to your worm study with a fun worm craft.
- Compare worms to insects and discuss how they differ and why worms are not insects.
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University of Illinois Extension
Texas A&M University, Department of Entomology