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Kindergarten Worm Studies: Asking and Answering Scientific Questions

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Working with Worms

I recently had the great opportunity to visit Ms. Margo Lapitino’s kindergarten class at Winthrop Elementary STEM Magnet School, in New London, Connecticut. They were in the middle of a study of earthworms that involved reading about worms, asking questions, and conducting an investigation to answer their questions.

I wanted to tell you all about this wonderful inquiry opportunity, but it’s much better to show you.

Worm Business: A Photo Gallery

Worm Follow-up Studies

Because students still weren’t sure how to tell the head of the worm from its tail, they did a study the next day with a folded paper tent, to see if the worm would go under the tent, and, if so, which end it would use to go through.

For more information on the kinds of investigations students can do using earthworms, see Handbook Of Nature Study (“The Earthworm,” pp. 421-425), by Anna Botsford Comstock.

Notes on Working with Worms in Class

While this classroom used earthworms for their investigations, if you wish to create a worm bin in your classroom, you will be more successful if you choose red wrigglers instead of earthworms. Red wrigglers, or composting worms, are commonly sold in 1/2 pt containers at bait shops, or, if you have a compost pile, you can collect them from the wild. Earthworms are sensitive to ambient temperatures, and prefer their world much cooler than most indoor temperatures, and may not survive inside. Composting worms, as their name suggests, are the worms that you find in your compost pile, so they like their environment quite warm, and will not mind classroom temperatures at all. Additionally, they are lively, and reproduce easily in captivity, producing many offspring with very little coddling.

 

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