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WORMS




Worm Tracks

Let the children dip 6-inch pieces of string into brown tempera paint. Have them pull the strings across pieces of construction paper to make "worm tracks". Encourage them to make their strings crawl and wiggle like real worms.




Worm Collages

Mix red, yellow, and blue food coloring together to make brown. Add drops of the brown food coloring to cooked drained spaghetti to create "worms". Let the children arrange the worms on paper plates or Styrofoam food trays. (The starch in the spaghetti will act as glue.)




Worm Finger Puppets

Set out small paper cups and squares of brown tissue paper or construction paper. Help each child make a finger-sized hole in the bottom of a cup. Then let the children tear the brown paper into tiny pieces and use them to fill their cups half full. To work the puppets, have the children stick their index fingers up through the holes in the bottoms of their cups and wiggle them like worms.




Willie Worm

Have the children hold their worm finger puppets as described in the worm finger puppet activity. Have them keep their index fingers hidden under the torn paper in their cups while you recite the poem below. At the end of the poem, have them poke their fingers up out of the paper and wiggle them.


I have a pet named Willie,

Who lives at home with me.

I keep him in this special cup,

So all my friends can see.


Where, oh, where is Willie?

Oh, where can Willie be?

Come out now, little Willie,

So all my friends can see.


He is a little timid,

I must be very firm.

Come out now, little Willie!

Come out now, my Willie Worm!




Observing Earthworms

Place an earthworm on top of some soil for the children to observe. Ask: "How does the earthworm move? What color is it? What does its skin look like? What does its skin feel like? What do you suppose the worm does in the soil?" Explain that earthworms hatch from eggs that are inside a cocoon in the soil. The worms are very tiny when they are born and many worms hatch from one cocoon. The only facial feature an earthworm has is a mouth through with soil (an earthworm's food) enters. Little piles of an earthworm's digested soil can be found near the opening of the worm's tunnel. These are called "castings".




Earthworm Farm

Fill a wooden frame with earthworm bedding material purchased from a sporting goods store. (Or make your own bedding material by mixing potting soil with sphagnum moss and a sprinkling of cornmeal.) Add worms you have collected from other locations. To feed the worms, dust the bedding material with cornmeal from time to time.




Finger Worms

Cut five apple shapes (approximately 5- by 5-inches) out of cardboard or posterboard. Cut one hole (large enough for a child's finger to pass through) in the first apple, two holes in the second apple, and so on. Write the numeral that matches the number of holes on the front of each apple. Let the children help color the apples red. Then have them choose apples, stick fingers through the holes and tell how many "worms" they see.




Earthworm Hunt

Take the children on a nature walk to search for earthworms. Before going on the walk, locate a garden or a compost pile where there are many worms or "seed" a small prepared area with worms you have found in other places. (If necessary, check with a sporting goods store to find out where earthworms can be purchased in your area.) When you reach your selected site, use a spade to turn over the soil and let the children look for worms. Put the worms in a plastic container with enough damp soil to cover them. Then take the worms back to use for other activities in this unit.




Worm Puzzle

Cut a large curvy shape out of posterboard. Then cut the shape into six sections to make a worm puzzle. To help the children put the puzzle together, glue or draw matching shapes, colors, numbers, etc., on either side of each cut line. Cover the puzzle pieces with clear self-stick paper, if desired.




Wiggle Worm

Sung to : "Did You Ever See a Lassie?"


Did you ever see a wiggle worm,

A wiggle worm, a wiggle worm?

Did you ever see a wiggle worm

Move this way and that?

Move this way and that way,

Move this way and that way.

Did you ever see a wiggle worm

Move this way and that?


Have the children wiggle their fingers, arms or entire bodies as they sing the song.




Giant Worm Pretzels

Dissolve 1 package yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees) and add 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Then add 4 1/2 cups flour and knead for six minutes. Let dough rise, covered, in a greased bowl until double in size. Divide dough into 12 pieces and let the children roll them into long "worm" shapes. Blend together 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water and have the children brush some of the mixture on their pretzel "worms". Next let them sprinkle on some coarse salt or sesame seeds, if desired. Help them lay their "worms" on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.


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Visitors since July 4, 1998