Introduce Yourself to a Worm
- Science Process Skills
- clear plastic tumbler
- a worm
- writing paper
For Entire Group:
- hand lenses (optional)
- Doing the Activity
- Have the participants tell what they know (have
observed) about worms physically and behaviorally, and
what they don't know (haven't observed) about
- Tell the participants that they are going to spend
some time observing worms. Begin by explaining to the
participants that the worms are their guests today,
and that they are not to be damaged, teased or killed.
The worms are to be treated with respect.
- Give each participant a worm, a plastic tumbler, a
pencil and some writing paper. Optional: Have hand
lenses available for the participants to get a closer
look at their worm.
- Give the participants 5-10 minutes to observe
their worm, and record at least six things they have
observed about their worm. They must use at least four
senses (sight, hearing, touch, and smell)
- Suggestions for sensory observations:
- Put your worm in the plastic tumbler. Watch it
from many angles as it moves. What do you see? What
does the worm leave behind on the glass?
- Look closely at the worm through a hand lens.
What colors and/or designs do you see? Write a
description of how your worm moves.
- Hold the worm in your hand. How does it feel?
Is the worm warm or cool? Wet or dry? Heavy or
light? Does the worm's body feel rough or
- Put some honey on a finger and present it to
the worm. What does the worm do? How does it
- Listen to the worm. Does it make sounds? When
does it make sounds? When is it silent? What kinds
of sounds does it make?
- Smell a worm. Does it have an odor?
- When given a choice, does your worm crawl up,
down, left, right?
- Share what you observed with a partner. Did your
partner observe the same things? How are your worms
alike? How are your worms different?
- Look at your list of observation words. List to
which sense (see, hear, smell, feel) each word
- How could you do this same activity with another
animal? What animal would be a good one to observe? What
is something that you could observe using your sense of
- What's Happening
- According to Nobel prize winning physicist Richard P.
Feynman, "Science is the belief in the ignorance of
experts." For Feynman, science was learning more about
the world than the experts knew. It is in this spirit of
inquiry and evidence that we begin to investigate the
world of worms using observation, communication,
application, ordering, and categorization skills.
- More Challenges
- How could you make money with worms?
- What data could you collect about worms that would
help you solve a problem?
- Write a story about worms.
- Find a new worm. Does it look the same or
- Investigate the favorite foods of worms.
- Activity Source
- Ponzio, Richard. (1991) "4-H SERIES/Y.E.S."
Cooperative Extension, 4-H Center, University of
California, Davis, CA 95616.