ELIDA — Second grade students at Elida Elementary learned that living things can cause changes on Earth. Johnny Appleseed Metro Park District naturalist Beth Theisen led the students in a hands-on, somewhat muddy exploration through scientific observations of live earthworms.
One student learned, “They’re (worms) are kind of weird. They’re so much different than me. The only thing that is not different is that they can’t breathe under water.”
Another student shared, “We learned that they don’t have lungs. We learned that they breathe through their skin.”
The students were asked to make a hypothesis about their first experiment. Paper towels were placed in a pan. Half of the paper towels were misted with water, half remained dry. Worms were placed in the container so they were stretched across dry and damp paper towels. Students were asked to guess what the worms would do. Would they crawl to the dry or the damp side of the container? The container was set aside while the students were conducting observations of live worms.
The second grade students were separated into smaller groups. Each group was given a pan of dirt which had four earthworms hidden in the dirt. They had the opportunity to find the worms in the dirt and then use their senses to discover things about the living organisms. They could touch the worms, listen to the worms, look at the worms, and smell the worms.
After experiencing earthworms up close, the class designed an experiment. The students will observe and collect data for six to eight weeks. The bottom of two 2-liter bottles were filled with a layer of rocks. Then alternating levels of dirt and sand were placed until the bottle was filled. The students learned that in a scientific experiment everything is the same except for one thing. The one difference in their designed experiment is that one bottle has worms. The worms are the variable.
The students will be making observations about the two bottles at least once a week.
If things work as planned, the worms should mix the soil and sand layers showing how living things can cause changes in a physical environment.
At the end of the session, students tested their hypothesis in the first experiment. The students observed that the worms crawled to the damp paper towel instead of the dry paper towel.Johnny Appleseed naturalist Beth Theisen leads Elida Elementary second grade students in an exploration of worms. https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_worm001.jpgJohnny Appleseed naturalist Beth Theisen leads Elida Elementary second grade students in an exploration of worms. Johnny Appleseed naturalist Beth Theisen shares with Elida Elementary students their first experiment with earthworms. https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_worm002.jpgJohnny Appleseed naturalist Beth Theisen shares with Elida Elementary students their first experiment with earthworms. Second grade students at Elida Elementary use a chart to help with a hands-on experience with earthworms. https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_worm003.jpgSecond grade students at Elida Elementary use a chart to help with a hands-on experience with earthworms.
By Dean Brown
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409