"Earthworms are simple, fail safe creature to explore" and Michael Ross, in his book, Sandbox Scientist, offers simple explorations and experiences like this one from which children learn a wealth of information about their world. On this sample page, Mr. Ross offers the materials, set-up, and other information needed to have an earthworm experience in the classroom. He even provides a glimpse of what happened when Denise, Claire, and other children first experienced worms when they were as young as 2 years old. (author/nmb)
Most children enjoy learning about nature. Depending on the child's disposition, he or she will interact with the worm in his or her special way. There could have been more information given about care of worms before allowing children to begin playing with their worms, but the lesson involves active exploration. Depending on an individual child’s needs or disability, the teacher will need to be more or less actively engaged with the child.
You may also find ideas for changing this experience on the Planning Options pages of the REC.
Life Science for Early Childhood
Characteristics and Structure of Life
Identify common needs (e.g., food, air, water) of familiar living things.
Diversity and Interdependence of Life
Observe and begin to recognize the ways that environments support life by meeting the unique needs of each organism (e.g., plant/soil, birds/air, fish/water).
Science and Technology for Early Childhood
Identify the intended purpose of familiar tools (e.g., scissors, hammer, paintbrush, cookie cutter).
Scientific Inquiry for Early Childhood
Doing Scientific Inquiry
Ask questions about objects, organisms and events in their environment during shared stories, conversations and play (e.g., ask about how worms eat).
Show interest in investigating unfamiliar objects, organisms and phenomena during shared stories, conversations and play (e.g., "Where does hail come from?").
Use one or more of the senses to observe and learn about objects, organisms and phenomena for a purpose (e.g., to record, classify, compare, talk about).
Explore objects, organisms and events using simple equipment (e.g., magnets and magnifiers, standard and non-standard measuring tools).
Scientific Ways of Knowing for Early Childhood
Recognize the difference between helpful and harmful actions toward living things (e.g., watering or not watering plants).
Science and Society
Participate in simple, spontaneous scientific explorations with others (e.g., digging to the bottom of the sandbox, testing materials that sink or float).