In our reading series, we are doing a unit on insects and such and today we read this book. On the way to school this morning I stopped by a fishing supply store and bought some night crawlers. After we read the story and talked about the book for a bit, I had them go to their tables and I put a paper plate on each table then got the worms out of the fridge and put a couple on each plate. I’ve done this before, so some of what followed was predictable.
First there were the “eww!! and icks” and other noises of disgust, followed quickly by curiosity. Well, for the most part. The most “Macho” Hispanic boy was away from his table crying, almost in hysterics, and the most opposite of macho girl, asking matter-of-factly if she could hold one……(turns out SHE has a pet snake, “it doesn’t bite”) I had laid the ground rules that they could touch, but they were NOT to hurt the worms, they were living creatures too. What followed was some of the most absorbed, focused investigation that I have seen out of this crew. Most at least touched, and some held the worms. One girl kept saying she wanted to hold one, but every time I would approach her hands with the worm, she would shrink away. Just couldn’t quite get over the idea of touching that worm.
That was in the morning, later, just before going home, I let them see and touch the worms again, this time, many more actually held the worms. It was really fun to watch. City kids don’t get much “Nature”. I really wanted to be a fly on the wall of that conversation when they went home, “Well, what did you do in school today?” “Played with worms.”