The Topic:
Worms

Easier - A worm is an long, thin animal that lives in the soil. They have a soft, long, rounded body and no legs or backbone.
 
Harder - There are thousands of different kinds of worms. The largest species measure many feet or meters long, while the smallest worm cannot be seen without a microscope. Worms usually live in soil; some live in water. Many worms eat small plants and animals, others feed on decaying matter. Still other types of worms live as parasites in various animals and plants causing a number of diseases. Most types of worms have a well-developed sense of touch. They also have specialized organs that respond to chemicals in their surroundings. Many species have a sense of sight, with eyes or eyespots on the head.
 
People mistakenly believe that caterpillars and grubs are worms. These animals are insects in their larval (juvenile) stage and do not resemble worms after they mature.
 
There are four main groups of worms: (1) flatworms, or Platyhelminthes; (2) ribbon worms, or Nemertea; (3) roundworms, or Nematoda; and (4) segmented worms, or Annelida. The study of worms is helminthology.
 
Adventures of Herman
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/worms/
Squirmin' Herman the earthworm is here to teach you about the history of worms, their anatomy, and other fun facts.
Another Worm Learn Site:
2) Worms (Grade 1, Museum Magnet School)
http://www.sci.mus.mn.us/sln/tf/w/worms/worms/worms.html
 
Worm Digest
http://www.wormdigest.org/home.html
Worm Digest is published is a project of The Edible City Resource Center, a nonprofit educational organization in Eugene, Oregon, involved in the promotion of sustainable organic agriculture. Lots of good worm information, especially for worm composting and farming.
 
Worm World at the Yuckiest Site on the Internet
http://www.yucky.com/worm/
At this site you meet 'Mary the Worm Woman', investigate worms as recyclers, and learn all about earthworms and their cousins with your host, Wendell.
  
Worms and Leeches at Alien Explorers
http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic18.html
Learn about bloodworms, bristleworms, horsehair worms, round worms, tubiflex worms, maggots and more at this worm-filled site.
 
After visiting several of the worm websites, complete one or more of these activities:
 
Have Some Worm Fun. Go to Wiggles the Worm Puzzles and Games. Print out the activity page there and find the hidden words and complete the worm maze.
 
Complete a Worm WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at Wonderful Worms (Grades K-2) by Kittiya Banks-Johnson and Elizabeth Langer.
 
Observe and Learn About Worms. Find directions for collecting and housing worms in plastic see-through containers at Build a Worm Condo at the Environmental Health Center,
 
Start a Vermicomposting Project. Help out the environment by starting your own worm composting project. To get started and get some ideas, visit sites like Composting with Redworms, It's For The Worms, Worm Composting Bin, Worm Composting System, and Worm Workz. Then put together a worm compost of your own. If you would like to start on a much smaller level, follow the plan found at Quart Jar Worm Farm (Missouri Department of Natural Resources).
 
Put Together a Worm Day Celebration. Select a date. Make worm posters and worm drawings to display. Write a worm skit. Celebrate your success by serving Worm Cakes or making and eating chocolate covered worms - find out how at Worms Can Get a Little Weird.
 
Would You Ever Eat A Worm? Birds and fish like to eat mealworms (You can learn how to make a mealworm feeder for birds at How to Make a Mealworm Feeder). Then read the book 'How To Eat Fried Worms.' Ask yourself if you ever have eaten or would you ever eat a worm? Some cultures, some people do eat worms - - gummy worms don't count! Visit Sauteed Mealworms at NatureNode, Mealworm Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Mealworm Spaghetti or if insect larva is not your choice, take a look at Natural Treat (Earthworms) to see some worm-filled recipes. Write a story about a situation where you might eat a worm or wouldn't eat a worm.
 
Worms of a Different Type
Mealworms are actually insects - - beetles in their larval stage; however, we have included some of the best mealworm sites on this 'Worms' project page.
 
Exploring the Life Cycle of a Mealworm at Trackstar
http://trackstar.scrtec.org/main/display.php3?trackid=1604
This is a science exploration activity in which students can interactively learn the life cycle of a mealworm.
 
Fact Sheet: Mealworms from the North American Bluebird Society
http://nabluebirdsociety.org/mealworm.htm
Mealworms are not really worms at all but are the larval form of the darkling beetle (Tenebrio molitor). They are clean, easy to raise, do not carry human diseases and most importantly are a nutritious food supplement readily accepted by bluebirds.
Related Websites:
2) How to Raise Mealworms at About.com http://exoticpets.about.com/pets/exoticpets/library/howto/htmealworm.htm
3) Mealworms http://plaza.powersurfr.com/bw/bestoffinchlovers/fl-nu-mealworm.htm
4) Mealworm Care Sheet http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/porton/350/mealworm.html
5) Mealworm Culture http://www.dbs.nus.edu.sg/research/fish/livefood/mealwm.html
 
Mealworms
http://crawlies.tripod.com/index.htm
Welcome to the creepy crawlies project page by a student at Rulang primary school, Singapore.
 
Mealworms and Wax Worms from Purdue University
http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/aquanic/publicat/state/il-in/faq/mealwax.htm
This links-page connects to resources on mealworms and wax worms.
 
Mealworms in First Grade
http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/phill/mealworms/family_genealogy/index.htm
This site has lots of pictures of mealworms in the 'timeline' section.
Similar Websites:
2) Mealworm http://www.corona.bell.k12.ca.us/student/eddy/mealworm.html
3) Mealworm Projects http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/GreatFallsES/6mealworms.htm
 
Mealworm Locomotion
http://thewildones.org/Curric/mealLoco.html
Here is an experiments webpage from 'The Wild Times Teacher Connection', Spring 1997.
Related Experiment Websites:
2) Can You Predict Which Way Mealworms Will Move? http://www.coe.unt.edu/luttrell/2ndgrade/predict%20mealworms.htm
3) Mealworms (Science Center Questions) http://www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/science/lessons23/
4) Mealworms as a Classroom Project http://science.clayton.edu/pratte/sci3120/worm/default.htm
5) Sweet Home for the Mealworms (Lab Sheet) http://www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~johnson/tas/investigation/mealworms_student.htm
6) What Can You Learn From A Mealworm? http://www.iit.edu/~smile/bi9117.html
 
Lots More Worm-filled Sites
The Burrow from Worm World Inc.
http://gnv.fdt.net/~windle/
Here you find a few articles about the business of raising earthworms and vermicomposting plus lots of links to other worm resources.
Similar Website:
2) Connecticut Valley Worm Farm http://www.ctvalley.com/
Related Website:
3) Wormfarm Forum (threaded-discussion on wormfarming) http://www.wormfarm.com/bbs.cgi
 
Careful! Earthworms Underfoot
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/kids/soil/story2/goodworm.htm
Learn with soil scientist Dennis Linden, who knows a thing or two about earthworms.
 
Earthworm
http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/westmin/science/snc2g1/worm.htm
This site describes the habits and life activities of the common earthworm.
Related Webpages:
2) Internal Structures of the Earthworm http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/westmin/science/snc2g1/wormint.htm
3) Digestion in the Worm http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/westmin/science/snc2g1/wormdig.htm
 
Earthworm FAQ at the Compost Resource Page
http://www.oldgrowth.org/compost/wormfaq.html
This 'Frequently Asked Questions' site answers everything from how earthworms are beneficial to how fast can they multiply.
Related Websites:
2) Composting With Red Wiggler Worms by GiIIian Elcock http://www.cityfarmer.org/wormcomp61.html
3) Home Worm Production
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/worm/worm.html
4) Vermicomposting (Links-page) http://www.oldgrowth.org/compost/vermi.html
5) Worm Composting Basics by Jen Fong and Paula Hewitt http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/compost/worms/basics.html
6) Worms: The New 'Bug' For The New Millenium by Spring Gillard http://cityfarmer.org/y2kworms.html#y2kworms
7) Worm Workz http://www.angelfire.com/mb/bjl/
 
Earthworms: Lumbricus Terrestris by Leslie Dayn at NY Westside Site
http://www.nysite.com/nature/fauna/earthworm.htm
This article tells about the benefits, life cycle, and history of earthworms.
Other Earthworm Articles:
2) City Naturalist - Earthworms by Leslie Day http://www.nysite.com/nature/fauna/earthworm.htm
3) Earthworms by John Mertus http://www.mertus.org/gardening/worms.html
4) Earthworms: Friend or Foe? http://www.ag.usask.ca/cofa/departments/hort/hortinfo/yards/earthwor.html
5) Earthworms: Under-valued, Under-rated and Unloved http://eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/SF/FAll%2092%20M.htm
  
Introduction to the Annelida, Everybody's Favorite, Worms. . . (Museum of Paleontology)
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/annelida/annelida.html
Here you can find details about segmented worms, including information on their fossils, history, and bodies.
Related Website:
2) Phylum Annelida (Segmented Worms) http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/annelida.html
 
Lovable Leeches by Heidi H. Haugen
http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/SS/leechlove.html
This article explains how you collect and raise leeches.
 
Vermicomposting (Kids Page from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/worms.htm
Learn why vermicomposting is fun, but also good for our planet!
  
Worm Woman's Web Site
http://www.wormwoman.com/frameindex.html
Meet the 'Worm Woman' and learn all about worm composting.
   
Websites for Teachers
Composting Resources for Teachers
http://net.indra.com/~topsoil/Teacher_Resources.html
This webpage was designed for teachers considering a vermicomposting project with their students.
 
Earthworm Farm
http://k-6educatorsca.about.com/aboutcanada/k-
6educatorsca/library/blworm.htm?rnk=r6&terms=worm
Starting an earthworm farm in your classroom is an excellent way to motivate and educate your students.
 
Introduction to an Invertebrate by Lee Ann Regan (Grades 5-8)
http://www.challenge.state.la.us/edres/lessons/middle/lesson4.htm
This lesson introduces a common invertebrate named the worm. It allows students to draw conclusions about worm body systems and worm senses.
 
Mystery Mealworms (Grade 1)
http://acad.uwsuper.edu/uwsscied/Teaching/grade1/mealworm.HTM
Here is a two-week unit plan for a study of mealworms (larva stage of the darkling beetle).
 
 
Potential Cross-Curricular Applications of a Worm Bin For the Elementary School Classroom by Jen Fong and Paula Hewitt (Cornell Composting)
http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/compost/worms/curriculum.html
This site has curriculum ideas for language arts, math, science, geography and social studies. and horticulture.
 
Role of Earthworms in Healthy Soils by Jo-Ellen Peterman (Grade 5)
http://www.fi.edu/sln/school/tfi/plans/peterman.html
Learners will identify the importance of the earthworm to healthy soil.
 
Worm Activities
http://www.grand-forks.k12.nd.us/~elemath/juggles/mini4.html
This lesson integrates science and math by involving students in estimating and measuring and weighing earthworms.
 
Worm Lesson by Kim Cherry (Grade 6)
http://www.trms.ga.net/~jtucker/lessons/sc/worm.html
In this lesson students collect and examine earthworms, identify their body parts, and then use them in a compost experiment.
 
Worm Bin Project Unit (Grades 3-4)
http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/letsnet/noframes/subjects/science/b2u1.html
This is a project in which students learned about decomposition of waste and the life cycle by creating and maintaining "worm bins."
 
Worms (Grades K-2)
http://pc.collegestation.isd.tenet.edu/worms.html
This lesson plan was developed to help students learn worm vocabulary words and to identify one likeness and one difference between real and pretend items.
  
worm
earthworm
gardening
night crawler
common field worm
green worm
casting
soil
burrow
prostomium
mouth
body segment
setae
mucous
skin breather
protein
vermicomposting
vermiculture
redworm
worm farm
ice worm
red wriggler
clitellum
hermaphrodite
invertebrate
flatworm
segmented worm
Annelida
cocoon
horsehair worm
predator
detritus feeder
worm snake
wormfarming
'can of worms'
worm bin
tapeworm
ribbon worm
helminthology
parasite
roundworm
fluke
 
  
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 8/00