Number – number and place value
- Measuring tape or metre sticks x 4
- Squares of plastic (recycled plastic bags are ideal)
- Masking tape
- A watering can
- Some sticks of around 10mm diameter and around 10cm length
- Some small garden forks, some kitchen forks
- Four tubs or containers
- Paper and pencils
- Paper cups
- Hole punch
In the classroom, look at pictures of earthworms, and discuss what the usual habitat of a worm is. Decide together how worms should be handled, and explain to the class they are going to participate in Worm Charming.
Explain the worms will come out from the soil when the ground is vibrated, or moved around, and ask the children about ways in which each team could do this. Put the children in to four groups and take them outside.
Mark out 4 plots, each of 3m x 3m, on a soil surface.
Mark out a large table on the playground, with four columns, writing the name or number of each group at the top of each column.
The children are now going to charm the worms from the ground. Each group should work out what method they would like to use from the following choices:
• Watering the ground and stamping and jumping in their space.
• Putting a selection of kitchen forks in to the ground and tapping lightly on them with a small stone.
• Putting one stick in to the ground, and use another stick to hit on the top.
• Using the larger garden forks to make holes in the ground.
- Decide upon the rules of the game, no digging is allowed, and to pause any movement when asked to.
- Start the game! Allow the children around 2/3 minutes to make as much vibration as they can, and then pause for one minute. Repeat this one more time, or more if no worms appear!
- Allow 10 minutes of counting time, each worm should be collected in to the containers.
- Record the results and then ask the children to let their worms free!
- Gather together and record the number of worms on the chart on the playground.
Compare the results. Talk about which is the highest and lowest number, which team had more than or less than the other teams.