Earthworms, Dirt and Rotten Leaves: An Exploration in Ecology

Earthworms, Dirt and Rotten Leaves: An Exploration in Ecology

by Molly McLaughlin, Robert Shetterly

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 More than a well-organized, clearly written examination of earthworms and ecology, this book is also a good introduction to scientific observation. Readers are encouraged to obtain live earthworms, carefully observe them, and gather data on their physical and behavioral characteristics. In the first five chapters, lists of questions and suggested activities serve as guides to observation. Directions for conducting simple experiments that test earthworms' reactions to light, sound, touch, moisture, and dryness are given, along with methods to record and evaluate results. Most materials needed are inexpensive and easily obtainable. Humane treatment of the worms is stressed. The last four chapters focus on the earthworms' internal anatomy (dissection is not recommended); their function as decomposers; and their relationship to plants and animals. Detailed pencil drawings and diagrams illustrate the text. Other books on the soft-bodied invertebrates are available. Hess' The Amazing Earthworm (Scribners, 1979; o.p.) presents a good, general coverage of the subject but not as much detailed information as the McLaughlin title. Rhine's Life in a Bucket of Soil (Lothrop, 1972; o.p.), a general study of soil ecology, has only a short chapter on earthworms. Pringle's Discovering Nature Indoors (Natural History Pr, 1970; o.p.) includes a number of experiments, most of which require fairly expensive materials and involve discomfort for the research subjects (one employs a mild electric shock). While these other books offer similar material, McLaughlin's smoothly written work has a fresher, more perceptive approach to the subject. Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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