In the big yard, there are long narrow planters that make up an area lovingly called the mud kitchen by some, and the digging boxes by others. Filled with rich soil often turned over by children’s curious hands, these boxes are favorites of kids and creatures alike. Many a child spends time here during Green Recess. Others gravitate to the space while working on the farm. And still others find themselves playing in the mud after lunch.
So it was there that Noah Thomas and Luna Achille were taking the lead on “Creature feeding experiments.” They, along with an audience of other third graders, were watching carefully to see if grubs and worms are more drawn to small tomatoes, different types of leaves, or other plant matter.
The collective group of scientists discovered a treasure trove of nearly 10 worms, which they gathered into a heap on a tree stump. The children then began a complex debate about whether or not worms had live babies or laid eggs. “I think they push out little worms,” one child posited. This was met with, “I think they lay eggs, and then the little worms come out of the eggs later. ” Moments later, someone added, “They probably bury the eggs.”
Soon, the children erupted into screams and cheers. Gia Danticat exclaimed, “An egg! An egg! The worms answered our question!” One worm had, in fact, produced a small, white, round egg.
Carefully and delicately, the children moved it from their observatory upon the stump and back into the digging box, explaining the need, “For safety.”
Fern Puckette concluded, “The thing is… now we are all worm midwives.”