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Dig Into Reading: Worm Races at the Webster Library


The one at the bottom wins!The one at the bottom wins!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!"

Fasty is the Grand ChampionFasty is the Grand Champion

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



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wonderful idea - the kids

wonderful idea - the kids will be talking about this for a long time. And reading about worms, and other things.

The Worm Races

Brilliant!!! Thank you for a fabulous idea! [Reminds me of the baby elephant races my college did in 1965! Of course, colleges do things bigger.]

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