Week 3, Lesson 2
Hello students! Today, we’re worm hunting and learning about ecosystems! Worms are an important part of your garden’s ecosystem.
- What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem consists of animals, plants, and their surroundings. Ecosystems are all around us, they can be as small as a single garden, or as large as an entire National Park! All living and nonliving things in an ecosystem are connected by how they interact with each other. In a garden, there are many different things in an ecosystem that all work to benefit one another. For example, bees help pollinate plants in a garden by moving pollen from one plant to another: this creates vegetables! Then, a bee will take nectar and pollen from a plant and bring it back to it’s hive to feed more bees.
- So we just learned about ecosystems but did you know that an important part of your garden’s ecosystem is...worms!! Worms are slimy and can be weird to hold, but they are awesome animals! They help your plants grow and thrive because they improve soil health. By eating organic matter such as leaves and compost, worms break down these nutrients and leave castings (worm poop) that the plants are able to use as fertilizer. This natural fertilizer encourages plants to grow healthy and strong.
- FUN FACT: Did you know that worms are not insects? Worms are animals and not insects because they do not have a backbone. Insects have an exoskeleton, which means they have bones. Worms do not have bones, which means that they are invertebrates.
Worm Hunting- ACTIVITY
You can go worm hunting by looking around in the soil of your yard for them! Have some fun and go out on a worm hunt. You can dig through your own garden and see if you can find any worm helpers doing their job, or you can head to your nearest park and see if you can find any worms to take home and add to your garden! If you don’t have any worms in your yard, you can always go to your local supply store to get worms for an affordable price.