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Teacher Resources


Earthworms Across Kansas will help teachers to achieve the Kansas State Department of Education's assessed academic standards for life science curriculum for middle and high school grades. We will provide instructional materials that include specific suggestions for ways to incorporate earthworm collection into classroom activities. Lesson plans which meet the curriculum benchmarks listed below will be posted here as they are written. Lesson plans are sorted by standard and by topic. Please also send us an email if you have a lesson plan you'd like to share or one you'd like to see.

Earthworms are not only ideal subjects for teaching life sciences, but also provide many opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. For example, earthworms could be collected in multiple habitats and the associated data could be used to learn the scientific method (Science As Inquiry) and to teach graphing skills (Mathematics). Students will be able to find out where the non-native earthworms originated (Social Science, Geography) and to develop an understanding of how invasive species came to Kansas (History). Earthworms can also be tied to earth sciences not only through their contributions to soil formation but also to processes such as plate tectonics (Earth and Space Sciences), which are responsible for the global distributions of earthworm families.

Instructional Materials

Earthworm Collecting Procedures

Earthworm Collecting Kit Instructions en espaņol The English language version is included in kit.

An identification key to earthworms of Kansas. This document includes a dichotomous key based on external morphology and a descriptive guide to key earthworm structures.

Lesson Plans sorted by standard

  • Life Science benchmark 4-5 for grades 5-7, benchmarks 4 and 7 for grades 8-12
  • Science in Personal and Environmental Perspectives benchmark 2 for grades 5-7, benchmark 3 for grades 8-12
  • History and Nature of Science benchmarks 1-2 for grades 5-7, benchmarks 1-3 for grades 8-12
  • Science As Inquiry standards
  • Mathematics standards
  • Social Science, Geography benchmarks 1-3 and 5
  • History benchmark 1 for 7th grade
  • Earth and Space Sciences benchmark 2 for grades 5-7 and benchmark 1 for grades 8-12

Life Science

Ecosystems, 5-7 grade

Lesson Plans sorted by topic


Ecosystems, 5-7 grade