Worming their way into education
Harbour Grace Primary students have a new appreciation for earth worms
Grade 4 students at Harbour Grace Primary anxiously hover their hands over the buzzer at their table.
It’s Feb. 25 and teacher Heather Ivey is reading a trivia question from the makeshift Jeopardy board projected on her whiteboard in a downstairs classroom.
“What is 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit?” she asks.
In a burst of energy, the students, divided into three groups of eight, dive for their buzzers.
Ivy, using her magic pointing wand, chooses the middle group as the winner. By being a tad quicker on their buzzer, Team 2 has earned the right to answer.
Students are required to work together with the other members of their group prior to giving an answer.
Huddling together, they whisper to each other until a common answer is found.
Just like the popular game show Jeopardy, the response must be given in the form of a question.
“What is the ideal temperature of the worm factory?” says one of the students.
Ivey nods her approval and continues with the game, which includes more trivia about worms. But, why worms? Well, students in both Ivey’s and Wanda Lee Roach’s class have been studying all there is to know about worms as a part of a 10week program in conjunction with the Lower Trinity South Regional Development Association and the Town of New Perlican.
This environment program had students utilizing the green house at neighbouring St. Francis school to create and look after a worm factory.
Over the course of the project, students learned things about worms they did not know before. Things like worms breathe through their skin and direct sunlight does more harm than good.
“I learned that worms lay eggs and I learned that there are three worms in each egg,” said nineyear-old Reid Barrett of Harbour Grace.
This project is good for helping students lose their initial impressions of worms.
Hanna Doyle, 9, of Carbonear, was one of the students who gained a new perspective on worms.
“I thought they were pretty disgusting,” she said.
Many look at worms as slimy, slithering things that you find in the dirt.
Hanna’s thoughts changed.
“I like them now. I squiggly ones,” she said.
Jasmine Stone of Harbour Grace had mixed impressions of worms. She thought they were both “cool” and “kind of gross.” “They’re all cool now,” she said. After the game of worm jeopardy had finished, the students all shared a delectable fruit cup and were presented with certificates by the project co-ordinator, Jill Hiscock and Dianne Palmer, the foreperson.
The students and teachers in the Grade 4 class at Harbour Grace Primary have now become wormologists.
“That’s even cooler,” said Reid.
Randy Murphy pumps his fist in celebration as his group gets a question right in Worm Jeopardy on Feb. 26.