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    worm terrarium
    By Jen

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    When I was working as a paraprofessional and taking classes, I had the opportunity to implement a unit around Earth Day in a classroom. Part of the unit consisted of making a worm terrarium. If you have a wholesale store like Costco, BJ's or Sam's club they usually sell pretzels in a large plastic barrell. Empty the pretzels out of the container (save them to give to the kids as snacks). Drill about 4-6 small holes into the bottom of the container and 4-6 holes at the top of the container. Simply fill the bottom 1/4 of the container with shredded newspaper; then add about 1/4 of granulated sand; next add a mixture of soil, wet leaves/lettuce to the container. You can either buy earthworms at a bait shop or dig them out of a compost pile. You will want to make sure that the container is draining properly so you may wish to purchase a plastic tray the kind you put under planting pots. This will allow the water to drain out of the container. You have to make sure that the container stays moist for the worms to survive. eventually, the worms will break down the leaves and lettuce and you will have your very own composting bin and fresh soil! You may need to add more leaves/lettuce (which was donated by the cafeteria) as the worms eat. You can add just about any kind of vegetable except for citrus fruits. The kids that I worked with loved to watch the worms travel around the bin. They even got to see the baby worms that had been produced in our bin. I did a mini-lesson on worms to go along with the composting bin. Each student got their very own worm to investigate and then place into the bin. At the end of the unit, we carefully emptied the container into the school's garden. I hope this intrigues! Good luck! Jen

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