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Dig Into Reading: Worm Races at the Webster Library
Who says worms aren't fast? All of us at the Webster Library beg to differ. We recently held very competitive, highly excitable, worm race!
First, it's not very easy to find worms in this concrete jungle. Luckily I realized that pet stores carry them. I chose to use earthworms over red wigglers because then we could simply put them outside, instead of trying to find a composting site at the end.
We held four races at a time, with four worms in each race, continuing until every worm had a chance to shine. After that, we used tournament style brackets to declare a Grand Champion. I made labels with numbers on them (and worms, of course) to stick on each child as they arrived. This way, when we were ready to start, all I had to do was announce, "Worm numbers 1-4, this racetrack!"
Each child got a cup with a bit of soil in it and one worm. We also had spray bottles at each racetrack to keep the worms and tracks damp. The kids reached in and gently place their worm (no soil) in the middle circle of the track. Once all four worms were there, whichever one crossed the outer circle first, won! It is hysterical how excited you can get while you are cheering on a worm. We also had some awesome adult announcers really get into it. "Look at this worm on the outside. He's making a break for it. Can anyone catch him? He's taking it all the way home!"
The individual winners of each race received a blue ribbon and the Grand Champion received a large, sparkly ribbon. The overall winning worm's name was Fasty. We're pretty sure he waited his whole life for this day.
Some squirmy read alouds
- The Big Fat Worm by Nancy Van Laan
- Bob and Otto by Nick Bruel
- Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
- Wiggle and Waggle by Caroline Arnold
- Yucky Worms by Vivian French