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Loving Earthworms with Earthworm Watch!

Earthworm Watch Survey at How we Montessori

In Montessori children learn to love and appreciate all natural things. From seeds and flower buds to insects and Earthworms. It only makes sense that these living things intrigue children. My children have been looking at Earthworms, giving a real insight into the health of our garden and our Earth. 

Over the weekend, on Earth Day, we went on a search to determine where and how many Earthworms we have in our garden. We also participated in the Earthworm Watch Survey. 

Earthworm Watch is a collaboration between Earthwatch Institute (Europe) and the Natural History Museum in London. The survey gave us lots of information about Earthworms including how to find and identify them!

Earthworm Watch Survey at How we Montessori

Not only did we count the worms we were also able to:

  • Measure the worms.
  • Identify them as mature or immature. 
  • Identify features of the worms including the saddle and which end the head is at. 
  • Identify them as deep-living, surface-feeding or soil-feeding worms. 

Although we've had a worm farm at home before and have also studied earthworms, this really guided us to look at the worms and examine them in much more detail. In addition, there was that feeling that as part of the survey we were contributing to something greater!

Earthworm Watch Survey at How we Montessori

A huge bonus of looking at Earthworms and completing this survey was that we learnt a lot about our soils. To complete the survey you also need to identify the type of soil you have including adding vinegar to the soil to see (or hear!) if it fizzes (which ours did!) which indicates chalk in the soil. Imagine the kids' delight in hearing the soil fizzing, I almost didn't believe it at first. 

My children were excited to find and examine the Earthworms. Even if you aren't completing the survey, we think this is something really interesting to do, the charts can be downloaded from the Earthworm Watch website here

Some of our previous posts about Earthworms:

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