Life Imitates Art Class

Set up twenty-seven worm bins today. One was real, and the rest were a pretend play art project for the preschoolers. Our class started a worm bin in January. This art project let kids review what we have learned about worms so far, and practice the vocabulary for fine motor manipulations and spatial relationships.

I seem to buy a package of mushrooms nearly every week, so I had lots of blue styrofoam packages resembling the class Rubbermaid storage container worm bin.

  • POKE--Each student poked airholes in pretend worm bin with a marshmallow-roasting skewer under intensely supervised conditions.
  • TEAR--We tore newspaper strips for bedding in the bin, then brown paper for soggy fall leaves, and pale green paper for lettuce.
  • SQUEEZE--We pretended to wring the water out of our newspaper strips the way we did the real worm bin bedding (to the consistency of a damp sponge).
  • ADD--Maroon yarn for "red wigglers".
  • CRUMPLE--To make our "lettuce" texture.
  • CUT--Construction paper "carrots" and "celery" to worm size bits.
  • PEEL--Worms love banana peels, so we pretended to peel and eat a banana, then added the yellow paper banana skin to the bin.
  • DIG--With our garden spoon we dug a hole in the bedding to bury our kitchen waste.
  • LIFT--We gently lifted the vermicompost, but didn't stir it. We didn't want it to flip out of the bin on our pretend carpet!
  • TURN OVER--We turned over the compost with our spoons.
  • COVER--Because worms don't like light, and teachers don't like escapees.
  • CARRY CAREFULLY--The preschoolers were so into the imaginary play that they took more careful steps than they usually do when carrying their cup of juice to the table for snack.
The most difficult part of this day was getting the kids to stand up and push their chairs in before picking up their worm bins. I wonder how Miss Nancy on Romper Room got the children to do it so well. Maybe after worm art it will be time for Do-Bees.

When I got home my own mail-order worms had arrived. Just so you can imagine, a 6" x 7" x 7" box contains one pound of worms, or about one thousand of the little eaters.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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