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A WORM BIN
IN A CLASSROOM

Vermicomposting is simply composting with red worms. A worm bin or vermicomposter in a classroom provides an ideal method to compost unwanted food by these incredible eaters! A bin of red wigglers will yield pounds of rich sweet-smelling compost. And as they each have 5 ‘pairs’ of hearts, you gotta love ‘em! Okay, so a pound of worms aren’t a lot of fun as a resident pet, but you can study their many benefits in other subjects such as:

ART/DESIGN: Draw cartoons. Decorate the worm bin as a banquet hall, chalet, hotel, or castle.

BUSINESS/MARKETING: Sell worm castings to the school community as a fundraiser.

CITIZEN RESPONSIBILITY: Prepare students to seek environmental solutions.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: With worms being very prolific, students can make more bins and demonstrate the concept to other classes.

ENGLISH/CREATIVE WRITING: Create a story, poem, or play with worms as the theme.

GAME: Everyone stand and take turns naming something that can be composted. Sit down if you cannot think of anything that has not already been mentioned.

GARDENING CLUB: Castings from the bin will provide a rich fertilizer for the school’s indoor plants and nature garden.

GEOGRAPHY: Discover where different worms live. Determine how they get to other parts of the world.

HISTORY: Early American presidents shared compost information regarding the need to preserve the earth’s fertility. Read the works of Darwin. Cleopatra considered worms sacred. There exists an ancient Chinese symbol meaning ‘Worms are Angels of the Earth.’

MATH: Calculate the weight of the worm bin at different stages of the bedding’s decomposition and graph the results.

MUSIC: Charles Darwin used to play music to his worms. They ate during the high notes and went underground when low notes were played.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Make announcements regarding events such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween parties from a worm’s point of view.

SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS: Place a worm in the center of a brown paper towel with one half damp. Observe which side the worm prefers.

SOCIAL SKILLS: The task of harvesting castings (screening the soil) offers an opportunity to merge students of different ages or slow learners with high achievers. Children will enjoy finding worm cocoons, sprouting seeds and rotting veggies.

SPELLING: List organic materials that can be composted.

TEACHER’S BONUS: In addition to the responsibility of caring for live creatures, students should be less noisy for the sake of the worms. Also, junk food snacks, often in non-recyclable packaging, decrease as health foods become preferable in order to feed the classroom pets.

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Written by: Larraine Roulston, Castle Compost
Larraine Roulston writes children’s adventure books that combine composting facts with literature.


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