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.
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