This week at Selma Elementary we explored the amazing composting power of worms! The garden ranger brought their own personal worm bin from home and let the students explore with magnifying glasses.
We began class by talking about if worms are friends or enemies to our garden. I asked the students what they thought worms did to help in the garden, which led to many raised hands. Students discussed the importance of worms digging tunnels and aerating the soil, turning old decomposing plants into soil, and decomposing old food waste in a worm composting bin.
For grades k-2, we discussed the physical senses that we share in common with worms. This lecture was scaled up for grades 3-5, who talked more about the physical anatomy of worms. After the discussion, a small handful of worms were placed on a cutting board and students observed the wriggly worms with magnifying glasses, noting which part was the head, and if they preferred the bright sun or dark soil.
At the end of the lesson, kids gathered around the garden compost pile, and we talked about the importance of other decomposers such as fungi and bacteria that help turn our old food waste into compost!