Our Worm Farming Project

By Jenna Richter | April 4, 2017 | Uncategorized

Just after the election, the kids were really inspired to do good things for the world and made a list of things that they, as our youngest citizens, could do.

They thought of taking care of the earth and pollution.  We picked up trash all over our neighborhood.

Love warriors out collecting trash in Thorp. In action we heal, find hope and move ahead with the work that needs to be done.
Love warriors out collecting trash in Thorp. In action we heal, find hope and move ahead with the work that needs to be done.
One full bag of trash is just the beginning.
One full bag of trash is just the beginning.

They thought of helping less fortunate folks, which they did with their food drive.

We collected almost 200 pounds of food.
We collected almost 200 pounds of food.

 

They thought of planting trees but everything was frozen and snow was headed our way.  They thought about recycling.  Our school has a paper recycling program but no way to compost.  Time for an indoor compost solution, it was time for worms.

We spent weeks preparing for their arrival.  We researched worms and worm bins then constructed our bin.  Each student got a chance to drill air holes.

Louie was a pro, after a quick lesson she was running the drill on her own.
Louie was a pro.  After a quick lesson she was running the drill on her own.
Taking turns with our drill skills.
Taking turns with our drill skills.

 

 

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Van’s drawing of running the drill.
"It is made of two bins of course. We used a drill to make air holes. We used shredded paper for bedding. Van Age 8"
“It is made of two bins of course. We used a drill to make air holes. We used shredded paper for bedding. Van Age 8”

 

Next, we prepared the bedding of moist newspaper with a bit of horse manure.  We waited for them to be delivered.  When they finally came, I dumped a few in a tray so we could take a quick peek before releasing them into their new home.

They had been on a long journey from Uncle Jims Worm form so we only took a quick peek.
They had been on a long journey from Uncle Jims Worm form so we only took a quick peek.

 

We prepared a delicous feast of our lunch waste, treats like banana peels, crusts and egg shells.

Harlow using his dicing skills to prepare the food for the worms.
Harlow using his dicing skills to prepare the food for the worms.

 

We measured and documented what went in.

Finn checking how many ounces of food we would be adding to the bin.
Finn checking how many ounces of food we would be adding to the bin.

 

After about a week, we decided they had rested up from the trip and we could bring them out for some investigation.  Everyone had a wet paper towel, a magnifying glass were ready to draw what they saw.

Since then, we have documented the life cycle of the worms.  We started with adult worms, saw cocoons and then tiny baby worms emerge.  We have also watched how quickly they have gobbled up our leftovers and left beautiful casings behind which will aid in our plant sale project.

The Discovery Lab students have been working on non fiction writing by answering basic questions about worms.  Each question was different and children chose which they were inspired to write about.

Louie decided to write about worm anatomy. She referred back to our reference book. She added a "Fun Fact" about worms having five hearts. She used a simile, sharing that worms, like dodo birds have gizzards and swallow rocks to help them grind up their food.
Louie decided to write about worm anatomy. She referred back to our reference book. She added a “Fun Fact” about worms having five hearts. She used a simile, sharing that worms, like dodo birds have gizzards and swallow rocks to help them grind up their food.

 

Harlow drew the worm life cycle. We have recently been drawing life cycles of chickens and plants so he knew just what to do.
Harlow drew the worm life cycle. We have recently been drawing life cycles of chickens and plants so he knew just what to do.
"How long worms live: first they are in a cocoon, then they start popping out. It takes 3 weeks to hatch. Fun Fact: Worms are boys and girs!"
“How long worms live: first they are in a cocoon, then they start popping out. It takes 3 weeks to hatch. Fun Fact: Worms are boys and girs!”

 

We have been invited to share our work and our worms at an upcoming book swap called Books and Worms.