Sturgis Library ‘digs into reading’

For the WPT


The library at Sturgis was “Digging into Reading” on June 27 by studying a unit on worms, which was presented by Dottie Dewberry of Maben. Dewberry is a veteran teacher of 37 years; she taught junior high English and math at Sturgis High School back during the ’80s and ’90s.

As the statewide topic for the libraries was “Dig Into Reading,” worms was one of the topics selected.

The lesson was initiated with the reading of “Diary of a Worm,” which gave an insight into the life of a worm. While they listened to the story, they ate worm food: apples and bananas. The peelings were fed to the worms, when they made their worm farm. They stopped briefly during the reading of the book to do the Worm Hokey-Pokey, as they only have two parts: the head end and the tail end.

Ms. Dewberry chose to present her lesson by having a whole wall display of a worm with identifying parts. On another wall, posters identified the various internal parts of the worm as well as the external parts: prostomium, mouth, clitellum, setae and anus. Each part was identified as to its function for the worm.

The children were amazingly impressed that the worm breathes through its skin; it reproduces about every three weeks; that it has no arms or legs; that it has no teeth or bones, but it has five hearts; that its food is ground up in its gizzard; that is has setae (bristles) that helps move it around; that it has no eyes but is sensitive to light, and it needs to stay moist or it will die. The most amazing thing to learn is that they (worms) were brought here by the settlers in the 1600s.

The walls were decorated with some worms jokes; it would be safe to say the parents enjoyed them as much or more than the kids. Do you know how to tell one end of a worm from the other? Tickle it in the middle and see which end laughs.

After the identifying lesson, Ms. Dewberry had the children participate in worm races; the winners were rewarded pieces of candy.

Then she had them play the worm/heart game: Each kid drew a word out of a sack; if it said worm, they had to stand up and wiggle, but if it said heart, they had to hug someone.

As the children were mostly school age, they were familiar with stations where they would go in small groups to make projects: worm farm, spaghetti art and a worm made from panty hose leg. It was a well-organized chaos that resulted in good “take-home” projects for each kid.

The Sturgis Library staff (Perian Kerr and Jean Griffin) is to be commended for its assistance as well as Karon Makamson, Gina Roberson, Jo Ann Reed and Ruth Hammond for helping the children with their projects.

Each child received a booklet of word searches, crossword puzzles, a fact sheet about worms, a poem guide and a pencil just for attending.

At the end, Mrs. Jo Ann Reed read one of the poems posted on the wall about “No Body Likes Me,” which is filled with adjectives describing worms. Then Ms. Dewberry led the children though the process of writing a poem about worms. Before they left, the children were treated to cookies spread with green frosting that had gummy worms crawling around. LOL.

Dewberry directs the children as they do the Worm Hokey-Pokey.

Dewberry directs the children as they do the Worm Hokey-Pokey.