Lesson Plan - Get It!
What is the slimy, squiggly little thing in the picture above?
- Do you know what that creature is?
It's a WORM! Worms are very small but have a huge job! Find out what it is!
Worms are small organisms that have a very specific and important job. They have no backbone, which makes them an invertebrate. In fact, the next time you see a worm, you should say, "Thank you!" Worms help soil and plants in many ways.
Soil is a fancy word for dirt, and it is what most plants grow in. Without the soil, we would have no food to eat! In order for plants to grow in soil, a lot of things have to happen. The first thing is that there has to be nutrients, or food, for the plants to eat. Worms play a big part in creating the nutrients in the soil.
Worms eat soil because it is packed with things that were once alive. The worms then get rid of the waste from what they eat, just like you do, and that waste is called castings. The castings that worms leave behind are full of nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Do you take a vitamin every day? That is what is in the worm castings!
The castings above mix easily with water, and once they mix with water, plants can suck it up. You will see a little later how that works!
Now that you know worms make food for plants, find out what other jobs they do.
Worms sometimes come out of the ground and eat grass and other things, then drag uneaten parts down into the soil to make nutrients. This is another way that worms help soil and plants.
Worms make tunnels as they move through soil. The tunnels fill with air, and that air gets to the plant roots. Air is an important component of soil for the health of plants.
Worm tunnels can also help water drain through soil. As you probably know, plants need water to live, just like humans, so the worm tunnels are very important to the movement of water through soil.
Wow! That is a lot of information about how worms help plants and soil! It is important to know how all of the living and non-living parts of the soil help plants grow, and worms are a huge part of that. Discuss the facts you learned with your teacher or parent.
In the Got It? section, you will examine a worm more closely and see how worms make it all happen!