Our Wonderful World by Emery Lewis Howe is a rich nature study book available for free download covering backyard neighbors, feathered friends, garden life, four-footed comrades, and the earth and its neighbors. By covering one chapter a week, there are 32 weeks worth of lessons. Enjoy the complete series!
- Quart Jar Worm Farm
Another option for the experiment from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
- Scientific Diagram
How to draw a scientific diagram of an earthworm for older students.
- More of the earthworm’s story from the Book of Knowledge:
Men owe much to that small, boneless, limbless creature, the earthworm. It is a living mill, grinding up soil day and night to make a fine bed in which our plant life may take root.
The body of the earthworm looks like a long tube, made up of many rings, or segments. The thin, pointed front end is the head, with a mouth that has neither jaws nor teeth but a lip for grasping. A muscular sac, called the pharynx, leads from the mouth to the gullet, or food canal. This sac supplies a suction that helps the worm in taking in its food.
The matter eaten, as it passes down the gullet, comes in contact with glands that are not found in any other animal. These glands make and give out a large quantity of carbonate of lime which aids in breaking down the food for digestion.
From the gullet to the gizzard the meal progresses and, arrived in this powerful mill, it undergoes a grinding similar to that to which the food of a bird is subject. In the gizzard, as we should expect, are numerous small stones, varying between one-twentieth and one-tenth of an inch in diameter. They are the millstones of the miller of the soil.
Having been ground in the gizzard, the food passes on into the long food canal which runs to the end of the worm’s body. When all nutriment that can be extracted has been obtained, the residue passes on and is expelled from the earthworm’s body, and issues from the opening of its burrow in what we know and see in the soil as wormcasts.
The earthworm has no eyes, but it has quick-acting sense organs. It can detect the difference between light and dark. It never shows itself in bright daylight unless it is frightened from its hole, or unless it is sick and ailing, or threatened by the flooding of its dwelling.
With no nose, it can smell; with no ears, it can detect vibrations. It breathes through its skin; it feels heat and cold; it is keenly sensitive to touch; it displays a decided sense of taste in the choice of its food, showing preferences for various types of vegetation over other kinds, choosing the fat of flesh before the lean, and liking fresh meat better than foul, though not disdaining to eat the bodies of its dead kind.The thickened ring of color, lighter than the rest of the body, near the head marks the presence of a gland from which is poured out the fluid composing the cocoon in which the eggs of the earthworm are laid.
Eggs so laid produce little earthworms resembling their parents in all but size; these worms do not undergo the wonderful changes of form such as mark the career of the insects.
“The Earthworm and Its Cousins,” The Book of Knowledge
- The narration exercise can be written in the notebook for older students or told by a younger student and transcribed by Mom, then placed in the notebook. Older students may be interested in substituting a more encyclopedia-type essay.
- The Earthworm
Ready to go outdoors? The Handbook of Nature study covers earthworms beginning on page 422.
- Use the Bible verses listed for copywork or dictation.
Interesting things to know about worms from the University of Illinois.
Can’t Live Without Me
The value of worms.
Exploring “Herman the Worm” from head to toe, so to speak.
Basic information from Enchanted Learning.
Interactive virtual lab at McGraw-Hill. Labeling and answering questions are the main activities. No cutting…
Instructions for dissection for older students.
Label Earthworm External Anatomy
Notebooking page from Enchanted Learning.