Over the past two weeks our children have embraced an inquiry on earthworms. In the spirit of taking it slow, we have been exploring worms with the children by listening to and recording their thinking.
We have provided the children with buckets, shovels and digging tools to use during outdoor play. We found an area in our garden without any plants and have designated that it be a place where we can dig for worms.
Listen to some of the thoughts and interesting language while the children were digging...
J.W: I gotta take a really close look for these little worms.
J.W: We need to make a tank for them and decorate it with dirt.
J.R: Worms don't have teeth. I am scared if they have teeth. I was scared of worms when I was a baby but now I know.
L.O: Worms go so deep in the ground so that nothing can get them.
A.F: Worms eat dirt in the ground until they get full.
N.F: I like to pick them up.
A.A: Is it dead?
Ms Pickard: How do you know if it is alive?
A.A: Because it is eating so it is alive.
When we brought the worms inside the children held them and watched them move in the dirt buckets:
J.W: Why do the worms come up when it is raining?
A.F: Maybe they need a drink.
C.G: No it is because their home is full of water!
We watched and made observations as they moved:
L.O: J if you hold my little worm he will tickle your hand.
J.W: worms move so fast!
We have been doing an inquiry on babies and are really interested in how to take care of and show love for babies. One of my ECE partners is on maternity leave this year and she has brought in her little baby Lauren for the children to meet and ask questions about.
Some of the children held worms, rocking them slowly just like they saw Mrs. Andrade do with Lauren. One child said "I rocked my baby worm so it can fall asleep".
Another student made a connection with our classroom trip to the zoo last year, explaining that she thinks that worms look like snakes. We had a discussion about how they are the same and how they are different.
Opportunities and Possibilities:
- Children have begun to talk about measuring the worms to see which are longest and shortest (we have been measuring ourselves with different materials in the classroom). We have been talking about how to measure them - what nonstandard unit can we use?
- J.W is interested in making a home for worms in the classroom. We have purchased a large clear bucket for him to use in creating the home.
- Providing materials: we will continue to provide digging and exploration tools for the outdoor play time.
- Sketching: we have put out materials for the children to begin to record their thinking by drawing and sketching the worms
- Sand Play: in our sand centre we have added some natural materials (tree discs, leaves etc) and a variety of tiny insects. There has been a lot of interest in insects so to extend their thinking and play we have added these materials in sand.
We will continue to document and observe what the children do, think, and say about earthworms. We are excited that many of the curriculum expectations are naturally coming up in their play and discussions. As a team we will continue to use our professional knowledge to extend the children's thinking by introducing new concepts and