What's Going On?


Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 5 – 7 , Ages 7 – 9

Science topics:

Animals, including humans , Living things and their habitats

Spark a conversation with this video showing some wriggly worms. This activity is great for describing observations and applying ideas in unfamiliar contexts.

Run the activity

1. You’re going to watch a short video. The aim isn't to find right answers, it's to explore ideas and find out what they know.

  • Do they know what might happen based on the image?

2. After you've watched the video, lead a discussion with your class:

  • What do the class notice about this habitat?
  • What are the worms doing? 
  • Where do they think they might find this habitat?
  • Is there anywhere around your school grounds you might see worms?

3. Ask the class to describe what they saw using only one word.

Background science

There are many different types of worms found in UK soils. Some live deeper in the soil while others are found mostly at the surface of the soil, and some tend to be found mostly in compost heaps.

Earthworms are active throughout the year but are less active during cold or hot and dry weather. They can be found in most soils, but are scarce in soils that are prone to waterlogging. 

Earthworms eat decaying plant material. Some earthworms emerge at night to feed on dead plant material on the surface, and will pull fallen leaves and other plant debris into their tunnels.They are important to soil structure and fertility, as well as being important food sources for birds and some mammals.

Take it further

Worms are really important for breaking down decaying leaves. If you have a school garden, why not find out which worms are at work with this information from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. 

Image credit: CAFNR via Flick CC BY-NC 2.0;

Video credit: Chris Kolaczan via Shutterstock