More Information

GRADE
Pre-K-3

AGE
4-8

Source
Weston Woods
For 50 years Weston Woods Studios has been the principal innovator in the translation of picture books into the audiovisual media. Our adaptations are faithful reflections of classic children's picture books designed to motivate beginning, struggling, reluctant and limited English language proficient readers to WANT to read.

Diary of a Worm Discussion Guide

Welcome to a few days in the life of a worm. His life is not very different from yours or mine, except that he takes classes like "Dirt" and "Tunnel," eats his homework, and has a spider for a best friend. Diary of a Worm chronicles the ups and downs of being a young worm. Students will identify with the worm's trials and tribulations in school and with friends, and they will be amused by the worm's antics and adventures, such as dodging girls playing hopscotch on the sidewalk after a rainy night. Diary of a Worm is a delightful and clever book that both students and teachers will enjoy.

Objectives

  • Students will learn about point-of-view.
  • Students will begin to keep a diary to record their experiences.
  • Students will learn facts about worms.

Before Reading Activities

Discuss the reasons for keeping a diary. Guiding questions:

  • Do you keep a diary?
  • What kinds of things do people write in their diaries?
  • Why is keeping a diary important?

Record students' answers on the board or chart paper. Point out that diaries are records of people's experiences and that they are often funny or interesting to look back upon when you have grown older. If possible, share some of your own childhood diaries, writing, or pictures with the children (They will get a kick out of thinking of you as a child!). Make diaries for each child. Use a piece of construction paper for the cover with a space for the child to write his/her name and draw a picture (a self-portrait works well here). Use lined paper for the inside. Let students know that diaries can have both pictures and words inside. If the children are young and cannot read or write yet, they can tell you about their drawings and you can write down the words for them.

After Reading Activities

Discuss point-of-view with the students. Explain that point-of-view is how different people see and experience the same situation.

Play a point-of-view game. Two children stand on opposite sides of the room. The teacher identifies an object to both of them, but does not tell the class what it is. The students take turns describing the object from their different points-of-view, while the students in the class take turns guessing what the object is. Hint: this game is more fun if the object picked looks very different from different points-of-view, such as a sculpture or abstract painting. After the game, discuss how the two students' descriptions of the object differed due to their different points-of-view. Follow up the point-of-view game by comparing and contrasting life as a worm to life as a human. Guiding questions:

  • How is this fictional worm's life similar to yours?
  • How is it different?
  • What can a worm do that people can't?
  • What can people do that a worm can't?

Record the students' responses in a Venn diagram.

Take students outside to make point-of-view drawings of a tree, rock, garden, or other natural landscape. Display the pictures so that students can see the differences in the drawings. Show students photographs taken from different points-of-view to reinforce the concept.

Visit the library and help children find science books and/or search for information on the internet about worms. Try to find explanations for why the young worm said, "The earth never forgets we're here." Examples of questions they may want to research might include:

  • What animals eat worms?
  • Why do they live in the dirt?
  • Where do worms lay eggs and why?
  • What do worms eat?
  • Why do we have worms?

When you return to the classroom, ask children to compare the information they learned about worms to the description of worm life in this story. Record their observations on a large sheet of paper, and encourage children to make their own drawings of real worms in nature. Display their drawings next to the chart on a bulletin board in the classroom.

Video programs about animals available from Weston Woods:

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, ill. by Harry Bliss.

Antarctic Antics by Judy Sierra, ill. by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, ill. by Betsy Lewin.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin, ill. by Betsy Lewin.

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino, ill. by Steven Kellogg.

Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus, ill. by Jose Aruego.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, adapted and ill. by Jerry Pinkney.

TO ORDER:

For Public Library sales call 800-243-5020 / For School Library sales call 800-621-1115.

This guide may be photocopied for free distribution without restriction.

Copyright 2008 Weston Woods.

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