I started off by reading Wiggling Worms at Work to build some background knowledge in my students. Then we created a chart together of expectations for handling worms safely. There weren't a lot of expectations, but I wanted to make it very clear that keeping the worms safe was a priority.
Once they were in their groups, I chose a person from each table to come get a plate of worms and bedding, and some hand lenses.
After handling the soil, I always make sure my students wash their hands with soap, not just hand sanitizer, and explain that they should do this anytime they are working or playing in the sand, dirt, or soil because it may contain bacteria.
After hands are clean, I ask my students "What did holding these worms make you wonder?" and have them write their questions in their science notebooks. I try to be careful in my wording, because this takes for granted that they wonder something, as opposed to "If you have any questions, write them down," or "Did anyone have any questions about the worms?"
These questions serve as a place to begin my next lesson, Investigating Worms Part 1.