Teacher Name(s): Kim Collazo
Date: Spring 2007
Grade level(s): 3
Content Areas: Science, Reading, Writing
Description/Abstract: Students will research the benefits of earthworms
in soil and respond to an email from Farmer Green.
Timeline: Two 45 minute sessions
Goals/Content and Cognitive:
Students will gain an understanding of the benefits that earthworms provide
to the soil. Students will read a non-fiction passage for understanding, and
incorporate that information into a friendly letter.
Links to Curriculum Standards:
Grade 3 Science 2.05 - Determine how composting can be used to recycle
discarded plant and animal material.
Grade 3 Language Arts 2.02 - Interact with the text before, during, and
after reading, listening, or viewing.
Grade 3 Language Arts 2.03 - Read a variety of texts, including nonfiction.
Grade 3 Language Arts 2.04 - Identify and interpret elements of fiction and
nonfiction and support by referencing the text.
Grade 3 Language Arts 2.05 - Draw conclusions, make generalizations, and
gather support by referencing the text.
Grade 3 Language Arts 5.03 - Demonstrate understanding by using a variety
of complete sentences in writing and speaking.
Big Question: Are earthworms helpful or harmful to soil?
Student's understanding of the benefits of the earthworm to soil will be
evaluated using the friendly letter rubric to score the letter they generate
to Farmer Green.
Students will be motivated to complete this assignment as they get to read
the next email that has come to them from Farmer Green. Because he is
asking for their "professional" opinion, they will be reading and writing for a
Learning Activities or Tasks:
1. The teacher will begin this lesson by sharing the newest email that
has come to the Soil Scientists from Farmer Green. Use the guiding
PowerPoint for Lesson 9.
2. The teacher will go to the class wiki, and record, as the group shares
what they already know about earthworms.
3. The teacher will then break the class into small groups and provide
each group with the Soil Science student booklets (Delta/Foss Soil
4. Students will be directed to designate 2 readers, a recorder, and a
reporter. They will read the passage on earthworms and record
information that they think will be important to provide to Farmer
5. The class will come back together to share information.
6. The teacher will record the facts collected on the wiki as each
reporter shares them.
7. Class discussion should be encouraged once all facts are shared.
8. The small groups will then reassemble and be given the task to
construct a letter back to Farmer Green. Word processors can be
used in lieu of pencil and paper depending on the tools available.
9. Each group letter will be turned in and assessed using the friendly
Students will work in small cooperative groups for the majority of this
The teacher should ensure that the students understand the roles to be
taken in each cooperative group, and guide the groups toward successful
completion of the tasks.
Materials and Resources:
1. Guiding PowerPoint for Lesson 9 (3rd Letter from Farmer Green)
2. Soil Science student booklets (Delta/Foss Soil Science Kit)
3. Access to Soil Scientists wiki (computer and projector)
4. paper, pencils word processors (if available) with printer
5. Friendly Letter Rubric