I have the kids gather on the floor by calling one group at a time to sit like scientists.
Once we are all seated and acting appropriate, I have them brainstorm everything they've learned about worms so far. I have the kids think silently for 30 seconds and then share with their floor partner.
Once everyone has shared with their floor partner, I choose random students to share with the class what they discussed with their partner. I do this by pulling names from a name stick can.
As the kids share, I record what they say on chart paper to be posted in the room. It stays there until the end of the year. We hang it next to the snail poster from the snail unit.
Staying seated on the floor, I present a see-through worm bed in front of the kids. I then read the story, Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser.
As I read, I stop and have the kids observe the worms with me and consider what the book is saying about worms.
I stop on the pages that generate heightened interest by the class. I can tell when that occurs by the kids' reaction to what they see and hear.
We talk how they live, what they do, how they eat and how they benefit us.
I take my time with this because this lesson brings all the learning we've had so far together into a full picture of understanding worms. I want them to be able to teach their families about worms! If you can teach it, you know it!
As I read the book and we make observations, I use the text to explain what worms do and how they contribute to the world.
I then introduce the book they are going to make and take home. I tell them how they are going to do it.
Here's the procedure:
I then read the book to them as they follow.
Then they read the book with me as I read it again.
They read it out loud as a group without my help. I support only when necessary.
I have the kids sit on the floor while explain the evaluative task to them:
When all the kids are finished drawing how worms live and work, they return to the floor to share their work with their floor partner. I choose three random kids to share with the whole class by pulling name sticks from a name stick can. This allows everyone to be heard and still respects the limited amount of time we have available. It also keeps kids on task because they never know when they'll get picked. Behavior is less of a problem as well because the kids don't have to sit through hearing everyone share.
The kids go to their tables to cut and order the pages for the worm take home reader. When they are finished, I call one table at a time to come sit on the floor with their books. I read each page again as the kids follow. I stop on each page and have the floor partners share what they learned from each page.
Once we are finished going over the book, I choose four random names from the namestick can and have the kids share one thing they now know about worms that they didn't know before. Once they they have all shared, I have the kids silently think in their about three things they've learned about worms. I give them 30 seconds each to share with their partner.
I have the helper of the day collect the books so I can place them in the homework folders. They kids are told that they must read the book and explain the importance of worms to their families when they get home and have their parents sign the book after they're done.