What would we do without Earthworms? Healthy soil, flourishing plants and varied habitats owe their success to these quiet creatures living underground. Children especially love the idea of Earthworms. "Look what I found!" is a common call in our school's outdoor learning lab. You will see a circle of children crowded around a friend holding a pink wiggling Earthworm; the group is surrounded by giggles and wonders.
"Look at him wiggle!"
"Is that a mom or dad worm?"
"Why does it have that band around its body?"I love to see how my students carefully deliver the Earthworm back to its place in a flower patch or vegetable garden once they finish their observations, making sure that the worm is gently covered with a blanket of soil. Priceless lessons await in the garden!
How can a creature with such a simple appearance be a complex recycler in our habitats? Learn more about Earthworms, their role in our habitats and why they are such excellent soil makers. Right now I am starting spring garden plans for The Habitat, our school's outdoor learning lab. My sketches and seed catalogs, the photos from last year's garden and our ideas for a new garden season truly rely on the secret life of Earthworms. Enjoy these links for learning; maybe thoughts of spring and summer gardening will help melt the ice and snow just a little bit faster!
The Adventures of Herman is an informative website to begin your worm studies.
Backyard Nature has a great diagram of an Earthworm's body. It helps you understand how Earthworms wiggle and move through the soil. http://www.backyardnature.net/earthwrm.html
National Geographic's A-Z Animals provides a range map showing where you can find common Earthworms. I was surprised by the information-follow this link and find out why!
Looking for a great book to read? Check out my favorite Earthworm resources:
If you are feeling really adventurous, get some Earthworms from the bait store or nursery and start your own worm bin at home. Find a place for your kitchen's compost scraps!
While the worms wait for for warmer days, stay cozy, keep reading
and spend time dreaming of spring in the garden!