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Wiggly Worms

Challenge students to learn their spelling words in a slippery way. Use Crayola® Gel Markers to make a wiggly worm!

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Instruct students to write each of their spelling words, or any new words they are learning, with Crayola Gel Markers on brightly colored paper. Check all spellings with a classroom dictionary.
    2. Students use Crayola Scissors to cut out around each word.
    3. Have students arrange paper-word cut outs in the shape of a wiggly worm. Pieces are attached to a background paper using a Crayola Glue Stick.
    4. A worm head, tail, and tongue can be added to the Wiggly Worm spelling words using Crayola Gel Markers.
  • Standards

    LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    MATH: Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g.,quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.

    MATH: Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

    SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.

    SCI: Use data about the characteristics of organisms and habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can survive.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer; Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals; An Earthworm's Life by John Himmelman; Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard by Nancy Loewen

    Students collaborate to organize their vocabulary words (segments) in alphabetical order, or break terms into syllables. Other possibilities might be to organize vocabulary by similar prefixes or suffixes, long or short vowels, etc.

    Students work in teams of two to compose an original poem that incorporates several of the current vocabulary words. Students may focus the topic of their poem on worms, their characteristics, habitats, etc. An original illustration should accompany the poem. Students should be prepared to present their poems to classmates.

    Samuel Johnson, who was born on September 18, 1709, created the first English language dictionary. Students investigate the format of the English dictionary, including how columns are used, guide words, pronunciation guides, etc. Students create their own dictionary format, incorporating their current vocabulary terms into the resource. Share these new formats with classmates.

    Students work individually or in small groups to create a diorama of a segmented worm's natural habitat. Display dioramas in the classroom. A written explanation of how the diorama was planned, symbols included, etc. should accompany the diorama.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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