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ERIC Number: EJ1017774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
The Wonder of Worms
Smith, Cynthia; Landry, Melinda
Science and Children, v50 n6 p58-63 Feb 2013
Kindergarten students have an amazing capacity for wonder and inquisitiveness--two important characteristics for future scientists. Much of what young students "know" about the natural world stems from their daily interactions with peers, adults, the outdoors, and the media. What can be especially challenging to uncover and redirect are the misconceptions about living organisms that students develop from these interactions. The misconception that worms eat apples, for example, is widely accepted by children and adults, even though we all know how difficult it would be for an earthworm to climb a tree. To guide kindergarteners in developing a deeper understanding of an earthworm's life cycle, its feeding habits, and its role as a decomposer, the authors designed an inquiry-based unit focused on red wigglers ("Eisenia fetida"). Activities were divided into 30-minute sessions, each taught on a separate day, to allow time for reflection, sharing, and (much to the student's delight) multiple opportunities to observe and handle the worms. This unit touches on the following life science core ideas from "A Framework for K-12 Science Education": LS1.A--Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air; LS1.B--Animals grow and change. Adult animals can have young; LS1.C--All animals need food in order to live and grow. They obtain their food from plants or from other sources; LS2.A--Animals depend on their surroundings to get what they need, including food, water, shelter, and a favorable temperature; LS2.B--Organisms obtain the materials they need to grow and survive from the environment; LS3.A--Organisms have characteristics that can be similar or different. Young animals are very much, but not exactly, like their parents and also resemble other animals of the same kind.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A