since she thought it would be useful for her students to think about designing “homes” for their worms (Table 3-2). And she knew that a full inquiry would allow her to weave in attention to understandings of inquiry. Perhaps she would invite some local scientists into the classroom to point out similarities between what the students were doing and how the scientists worked.
Anticipating the shipment of worms, Ms. Flores suggested to the children that they build a place for the worms to live. They returned to the vacant lot so
the children could explore where they had originally found worms and study the nature of the soil where they lived. The groups returned to their square meter plots and made notes and drawings of where worms were and were not found. Ms. Flores also asked students to talk to their parents and relatives about where they thought worms lived.
The next day in class the students generated a list of places where they found worms and other places worms might be found. Students suggested looking in wet dirt, under logs, in the roots of plants, and in a compost pile. Ms. Flores then asked them what these places could tell them about how to build a home for worms. In groups of four, the students were asked to design a home for worms using an empty two-liter plastic soda bottle with the top section removed.
The students presented their initial designs before they started building. Students from other groups listened carefully and asked lots of questions since they knew that they could revise their designs after the presentations.
Some students built their worm homes from soil and leaves and put grass on top. Others covered the sides with black paper “so it is like underground.” Others used just soil and placed their bottle sideways. One group punched tiny holes in the side to let air into the soil and to let extra water out.
When the worm shipment arrived, Ms. Flores gave each group a handful of worms and instructed them to observe each worm carefully and draw a picture of it. Drawing provoked many questions, including “What kind of an animal is a worm?” Knowing that children typically have different conceptions of animals, Ms. Flores had them add to their drawings some sentences describing what kind of animal they thought it was and why. Some said snakes; some said insects;