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The Dirt on Worms

School: Palouse Prairie Charter School

City/State: Moscow, ID

Grade(s): K

Format(s): Book, Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Kindergarten students at Palouse Prairie Charter School in Moscow, Idaho studied the importance of worms during a learning expedition. 

For the first case study, "The Home of a Worm," students thought and acted like biologists by conducting scientific observations of worms and recording their observations in a science journal. They went on an overnight camping trip on Paradise Ridge where they surveyed earthworms two different ways—by electro-shock and digging a square yard. Dr. Jodi Johnson Maynard, a biologist at the University of Idaho who studies the Giant Palouse Earthworm, led the fieldwork. Students also visited and worked with experts at the University of Idaho’s lab where the Giant Palouse Earthworm is studied. Students conducted several experiments and observations in the lab to gather more information.

The second case study focused on the job of an earthworm. Students built habitats in the classroom and created a worm bin. They observed and recorded their noticings and wonderings. The third case study focused on the form of collage. Students had an anchor text, Ten Little Caterpillars that guided them in developing a criteria list for the creation of the book. Julene Ewert, a graphic designer and artist gave expert feedback on how to improve their collages. 

The final product was a counting book about earthworms. Students wrote a book that represents a non-fiction narrative text. In addition, they wrote facts to inform the reader, which is represented at the end of the book. Students hosted a book reading and signing at a local bookstore for all community members to attend.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Demonstrates how young students can produce appealing artwork by combining different artistic techniques
  • Highlights individual student work within a larger collaborative class project
  • Shows an example of an interdisciplinary writing/art/science project
  • Excellent example of a product that centers around an investigation of a local resource

Relevant Resources

Additional Standards

  • K.S.3.1.1 Observe and describe the characteristics of plants and animals.
  • K.S.3.2.1 Describe the difference between living and non-living things.
  • K.S.1.2.1 Make observations and collect data.
  • CCRA.R.1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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