Note: This post was updated and republished to include a newly released book I was gifted by the publisher and an activity I planned to accompany it.
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We always start our lessons by watching the clip from Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD for the featured letter and then making a letter craft.
The inspiration for this letter craft came from here.
Our first book of the lesson was the super fun “Diary of a Worm” by Doreen Cronin. I think this series of books is a lot of fun with it’s clever ideas and cute jokes.
Then we sang some worm songs using our fingers as worms to act out the songs. I don’t remember where I originally found these songs.
I’m A Little Earth Worm
Tune: “I’m A Little Teapot”
I’m a Little Earth Worm
I like to dig,
Deep in the ground.
And when I crawl up,
Back out of the ground.
I always have to check
If any birds are around!
Tune: “Frere Jacques”
Crawling on the ground,
Wiggling all around,
Squirm, squirm, squirm,
Squirm, squirm, squirm.
Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman was the perfect book for teaching the kids how worms help us. A worm named Carl wants to know what his purpose is, because every other animal seems to know. After he stops doing what he normally does, there is a very noticeable difference in the soil that effects everything else around him. The combination of the text and illustrations make it very clear how much difference the small worm truly makes.
Afterwards the kids had some sensory fun with yarn worms in little containers filled with colored dry rice. I hid the worms in there to start and then after they found them all they practiced moving the worms through the ‘earth’ to help things grow.
Next we did a wiggle worm obstacle course. In an area of the room I created an obstacle course of pillows, suitcases, and other objects. The kids took turns completing the course by wiggling on their bellies like a worm to get around and between the objects.
For our snack I had to include the classic childhood treat of dirt pudding cups with gummy worms in it!
Next we read “Worm Weather” by Jean Taft. The kids had fun spotting the worms at the bottom of the pictures.
After reading it we went outside to ‘play with worms.’ I didn’t want them to over handle and accidentally kill real worms, but I wanted them to be able to dig and play so I used this idea and made a dirt sensory bin with cooked spaghetti noodles buried throughout to resemble worms that the kids got to dig around, find, and play with. The boy in my preschool couldn’t get enough of it and kept talking about how cute worms are.
To spend a little more time outside we did a review activity to practice past letters. When I said the name of a letter they ran to stand on it and had to say what sound the letter makes.
When we went back inside we read “Superworm” by Julia Donaldson. The kids really enjoyed the story of this worm who helps animals around him.
We used playdough to make our own “superworms” inspired by some ideas from Rainy Day Mum and then the kids acted out the story using some of our toy animals that were similar to the ones in the book. This kept them entertained for quite a while.
We always end the lesson with reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and adding the letter to our coconut tree.
Edited in 2019 to Add:
When I repeated this lesson with my preschool group this year I added in a newly released book and a sensory activity. See the details in this post: