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Lesson Plan

Digging Up Details on Worms: Using the Language of Science in an Inquiry Study

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Digging Up Details on Worms: Using the Language of Science in an Inquiry Study

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jean Landis

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Foregrounding scientific vocabulary, this integrated lesson invites students to research worms in order to create a classroom habitat. Students are first introduced to inquiry notebooks and then use them record what they already know about worms. Next, students observe the cover of a fiction book about worms and make a hypothesis on whether the book is fact or fiction, and then check their hypotheses after the book is read aloud. Next, after an introduction to related scientific words such as hypothesis, habitat, attribute, predator, and prey, students conduct and record research and findings in their inquiry notebooks. Once they have gathered the necessary information, students plan and build a worm habitat, which becomes the springboard for further scientific exploration, observation, and experimentation.

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Animal Inquiry: Using this online tool, students great graphic organizers by answering a series of questions about an animal they are studying. Students can select animal facts, babies, interactions, or habitats organizers.

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Students are naturally curious about the world around them. Therefore, it is important to provide students with the opportunity to pose questions and discover answers on their own. Working across the disciplines helps to reinforce the facts, skills and information for the students. In her article, "Science Text Sets: Using Various Genres to Promote Literacy and Inquiry," Margaretha Ebbers suggests "in elementary classrooms, the scientific practices of observing, questioning, predicting, describing, explaining, and investigating should be woven together with the literacy practices of reading, writing, speaking, and listening." In this lesson plan, students actively participate in scientific practices and use scientific vocabulary while reading, writing, and researching.

Further Reading

Ebbers, Margaretha. "Science Text Sets: Using Various Genres to Promote Literacy and Inquiry." Language Arts 80.1 (September 2002): 40-50.

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