This past Friday (July 15th) was Gummy Worm Day! My son's teacher was so kind and invited me into the classroom to do a special segment on worms/gummy worms. I had so much fun and I think the kids enjoyed it too. I am sorry I do not have action pictures of the kids participating in the activities but I did not want to put a bunch of kid's pictures on here with out parent approval first.
First, I purchased 2 inch petri dishes for the whole class. Once I received them, I washed and sanitized them well to make them food ready. I then laid a small gummy worm in each dish and made blueberry gelatin to surround them. Each child then had a gummy worm snack to eat. They really enjoyed this, as how often does anyone eat anything out of a petri dish?
Next we played a game of "Pick Up Worms". I cut up several pipe cleaners/chenille stems into a variety of sizes and we used tweezers or ice tongs to pick them up. This was much like the game my son and I played picking up snakes, I just renamed it. To make it a bit more of a challenge, I put the "worms" in a container filled partway with colored rice.
We also played a rousing game of "Worm in the Apple". All of the kids stood in a line with their legs spread. They were the apples. The child at the end of the line was the worm and had to crawl and wiggle through every one's legs. When he reached the front, he also became an apple and the new last person was the worm until everyone had a chance to be the worm.
I also made up a little sheet for everyone to measure their worm. For this, they used a gummy worm. I taped a seamstress' measuring tape down to the table and we measured each worm a couple of ways. First we just laid the worm down and measured it. Next, we stretched it out as far as we could without breaking it and measured it. This turned into a discussion of elasticity and how even though we stretched the worms, they went right back to their original shape. In addition to measuring the worms in inches, we also had a pre-made measuring stick of "unifix cubes". The kids wrote each measurement on their sheet and at the bottom of the sheet was a box to draw a picture of their worms.
The last activity was probably one of the favorites. I actually bought a container of night crawlers. I put a few in larger petri dishes and gave the children magnifying glasses to investigate them. We wrote down all of the words that they used to explain and describe the worms. In the beginning several kids were hesitant to touch the worms but by the end everyone was letting worms hag out in their hands. At the end of the experiment, we went outside and released the night crawlers into the garden that they have. The classroom is growing tomatoes and marigolds. We explained how the night crawlers would crawl around in the soil and make it loose and easy for the roots of the plants to go down deep and allow the plants to grow happy.