“Earthworms” by Elizabeth Cummings

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EARTHWORMS

 

Earthworm, you burrower extraordinaire

How can you stand to live down there

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!

‘Let’s Pretend’ by Elizabeth Mary Cummings with Teacher Notes

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Let’s Pretend

 

I am so popular, I’m so in

I always have the next best thing!

 

You can see how good I am, it’s up to me

How in with the it-crowd you will be.

 

Always sure and what’s more, not scared one bit

For I know, I am a wonder, a big hit!

 

Never failing, never losing  and never unsure

Do you believe me? Okay, I’ll stop now and lie no more.

 

Alone – taken from Green Striped Hoodie sample thumbnails by Johanna Roberts

Possible discussion questions:
What is the writer telling us in verse one and two?
Do you think the writer feels they are popular?
What makes someone popular?
Does the writer believe that the being with the in crowd will make them happy?
Why do you think this?
Activities:
Get the children in pairs to rewrite poem as CLOZE then to pair up and share their cloze version with another group – each group have to fill in gaps as they see fit and then compare to original and discuss meaning.
Draw/paint/model – something thats scares you.
Share these (for those comfortable sharing) in class/group and discuss as a group how to conquer fears.

“Earthworms” by Elizabeth Cummings with Teacher Notes

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EARTHWORMS

 

 

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.

 

Monday-Lying in Bed

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Monday – Lying in Bed

 

Monday’s here already

I just can’t get out of bed

The sun’s already shining

The dog’s waiting to be fed

I know I should get going

But I stretch and roll instead

As I think of the goal I scored

And what my teammates said

The aches and pains I feel

From the big bruise on my head

Are definitely worth it all –

I’ve got pre-season street cred!

Elizabeth Cummings

 

Elizabeth is Sydney based writer and long-time soccer mum! With her youngest child now studying overseas she is missing all the those preseason matches and the excitement of the build up to the start of the soccer season. There’s nothing like supporting your kids’ sports from the sidelines and Elizabeth sends her congratulations to all those parents of the Australian Commonwealth team who must be feeling so proud and delighted with their children’s results. Enjoy the glow of success!