Changes in the Worm Farm

We are getting ready to change themes.  There are other changes in the classroom we want to look at first…

wormfarm

This is how our Worm Farm looked a few weeks ago.   The we added a container of red wigglers (about 30 worms) to the farm.

 

wormfarm2

Do you see any changes?

The students wanted one end of the habitat marked as the kitchen.  This is where we add the food.  The earthworms travel from one end to the other and the food quickly disappears.   The newspaper is getting darker and we will need to add another layer as the worms eat it.   The Worm Farm will be with us, now, until the end of the school year.  Since we have added adult and young worms, we hope to keep the life cycle going.  Maybe we will not need to buy worms next year?

The Worm Farm

The Worm Farm is now squirming with activity. Each day the students want to check on the worms and we talk about how the farm and the worms are changing.

wormfarm

A worm jar with plastic worms in Coconut Fiber Substrate is in the library. Students can get a close up look at the worms’ natural habitat.

wormjar

The first week we observe the worms and take notes on their color and size.

earthworms

Gloves are used to protect the worms from salt and chemicals that are on our hands. Water and a small amount of vegetables or fruit must be added each week to keep the habitat balanced.

Slime Is Fun!

Circletime for this theme starts by learning a new song:

Wiggle Worm
(Tune: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Wiggle, wiggle little worm (lace fingers and wiggle them like worms)
Through the grass and dirt you squirm.
You don’t like the light or sun’ (hide eyes)
But you think the mud is fun. (rub hands together)
Wiggle, wiggle little worm (lace fingers and wiggle them like worms)
You are slippery when you squirm!

Earthworms are very different from the critters we encounter above the ground. They do not have eyes, ears, legs, arms or even lungs. Worms breathe through their skin. Their skin must stay wet so the oxygen can pass through. They cannot breathe underwater, though, so life underground can be tricky. Earthworms are very slippery. This is because of the thin layer of slime that covers their body and helps them to stay moist.

We made slime in the classroom. I put green coloring and liquid laundry starch into two different small spray bottles. Squirt one teaspoon of white school glue into a child’s hand and ask them to stir it with a finger on their other hand. One squirt of green and three or four squirts of starch and things start to get slimy!

 

 goo

The small balls of slime can be combined and kept as a tray activity for the sensory table. Add a few plastic bugs for the goo factor!

gootoo

If things seem a little sticky, add a few more squirts of the starch. Slime will stick to hair and clothes, but washes out with water.

Have fun!

Light Up the Earthworm’s World

The light table’s theme has changed this month to help the students imagine where an earthworm goes underground.  I used construction paper and yarn to create an underground view of a worm’s world. The worms are made from heavy yarn.  Dip the ends in white glue and allow to dry to keep them from unraveling.

Earthworm Light Table

This will lead to another chance to talk to a student and take dictation about thoughts on what a worm does while underground.

Theme for September: Earthworms

Most people say “EWWW” when I mention earthworms. Sometimes a small critter that grosses out  some people  is very important to us!  They play an intricate part of our circle of life. Worms eat old dead stuff. They help us recycle newspaper and leaves back into the soil. Plants benefit not only in the rich soil, but also in the aeration of the earth as the worms tunnel about. They soften the earth and this allows the rain to penetrate and easier growth of the plants. A great place to start learning about the earthworm is The Adventures of Herman.

Our first project is making a Worm Farm.

Worm Farm
The students help spray shredded newspaper with water and tear it into smaller pieces to make the bedding.

baby earthworms
Worms that hatched out in last year’s Farm are on display.

 

Tomorrow we will add earthworms! They can be purchased from local stores that have a sports or bait section.