Objective: The children will learn about the many functions of earthworms and their importance in the environment.
Note: This activity can be completed in 1 day; observation of the worms will take place over several days.
The worms in this lesson liked the wet paper towel better than the dry one because they need moisture to survive. If the worm’s skin dries out, it will die. We see more earthworms in the spring because there is more rain. Earthworms like warm, moist, dark places; they are like underground farmers in the soil. They eat lots of dead roots and leaves. As an earthworm eats, the material moves through its body and is secreted in castings that provide nutrients to the soil. Plants use these nutrients as food. Earthworms make tunnels under the ground allowing oxygen and rainwater to penetrate the soil. This also helps plant roots to move through the soil.
Worms have soft bodies that allow them to breathe right through their skin. Although worms can crawl, they do not have any legs. Their bodies are made in ring-like segments that allow them to move by contracting and expanding along the ground. Earthworms do not have any teeth, but they do eat tons of dirt, leaves, stems, and dead roots. They do this by pulling food into their mouths with a strong vacuum-like suction. Earthworms can eat one third of their body weight in a single day.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.