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HANDS ON!
Worm World

What a wormy world.

Watch a worm interact with its world. Observe how worms react to human interaction. It's a worm's world in the soil.
Materials
Large clear glass or plastic beakers
Small clear glass or plastic beakers
Potting soil
Water
Earthworms
Sponges
Black paper and tape
Paper towels
Flashlight
Worm food (leafy green vegetable bits or moist bread)

Procedure
Place the small beaker inside the large beaker.
Fill the space between the beakers with moistened soil. This creates a circular column of soil.

Sample setup

Wrap the outside of the beaker with the black paper and tape it tightly. This provides a darkened environment for the worms.
Carefully add two earthworms to the soil.
Add small amounts, just a few bits, of worm food.
Cut a piece of sponge to fit the top of the container like a cover. Moisten the sponge and place it on top of the soil.
Leave the worms alone for a week. Each day, touch the sponge, without removing it, to verify that the sponge is still moist. If not, add a small amount of water.
After a week, remove the sponge and observe the worms (without removing them).
Remove the black paper and observe the worms through the clear sides of the beaker.
Prepare a moist paper towel bed for the worms.
Carefully remove the worms from the soil and place them on the paper towel. Observe its behavior.
Observe the parts of the worm: head, tail, middle, segments, and bristle feet. Lightly touch each part of the worm and observe its reaction.
Shine the flashlight on the worm and observe its reaction.
Observe the soil where the worms have been living.

Conclusions
Consider how the worm moves around in the soil. How do its parts work together to help it survive in its environment?

Extension Ideas
When finished with this activity, the worms will need a new home. Brainstorm for the best place near the school to "release" the worms.

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