“Earthworms” by Elizabeth Cummings with Teacher Notes

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Earthworm, you burrower extraordinaire

How can you stand to live down there

With no arms of legs in the soil so dark?

With your one cylindrical digestive tract

You move with the muscles that you contact

To make your body first short then long

And those bristles help propel you along

Through leaf litter, topsoil or deeper down

You help to mix up the stuff in the ground

This makes you the base of many a food chain

Yet your many skills are the environment’s gain

Your talent with organic matter is biological

And mixing tall the nutrients is a flair so chemical

Then there’s your physical ability of aerating

So the soil ecosystem’s restoration you’re helping

Thus let’s take some time to show a bit of gratitude

For how you improve the quality of our food!



Worms both disgust and fascinate me! I remember my brother holding a worm in his hands as a toddler and exclaiming; ‘One worm two worms!’ as he pulled it part😱. After that I had nightmares about worms for years until one of my pupils brought a worm farm into the class and taught us all about he important work of the humble earthworm… a teacher can always learn from their students!

Elizabeth Cummings 


Teacher Notes by Jeanie Axton:

Read this poem to the class a few times and then ask a student to write key words on the whiteboard. As a class research and make a timeline of life in the worm farm. Look at how worms are a sign of a healthy garden and how worm tea helps condition soil and grow healthy plants.

If your really brave have a “Bring your gumboots day” and go out and collect worms to bring back to the classroom. Watch how they move and write a worm poem.

Remember to take the worms back to where you got them after the lesson. They belong in the environment.


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