Education Blog

Diary of a Worm launches Another Year of WILL’s Book Mentor Project


2 female Book Mentor volunteers reading to a class of Pre-school children. Ana Olguin

Have you ever wondered what a little worm might do each day? Not many adults would say “yes” to that question, however children are curious and want to know all about the world around them!

Volunteers with the WILL Book Mentor Project brought Diary of a Worm and worm viewing kits to Pre-K classrooms throughout the county. Author, Doreen Cronin, provides the little readers with a worm’s-eye view of the world along with beautiful illustrations and entries into the little worm diary. Little worm writes about family, school, future dreams, and the good and bad of life. This book is fun and engaging for children of all ages!

Not only is this book fun but it allows children to learn about science, math, and writing. This book specifically addresses the Illinois State Board of Education Learning Standards in math, language arts, and science. The worm’s dated diary entries allow children to begin to construct a sense of time through participation in daily activities. Reading about what happens each day in the little worm’s life focuses the children on observation and investigation. Describing what happens to the little worm helps them explore what happens through life sciences. Exhibiting curiosity and interest in learning new words heard in books helps their vocabulary grow. These are just a few academic components that this books covers.

The Book Mentor Project provides a classroom activity to go with each month’s book.  For this book, each classroom received a worm viewing kit. These kits let the children observe the worms as they go about their daily lives.  It is a wonderful tool to help children learn about the importance of worms to our eco-system. Every child received a science journal where they are able to draw or write what they see the worms doing each day. Drawing and writing help grow the child’s fine motor skills.

A large part of the WILL Book Mentor Project is to connect school, home, and community through monthly books and activities. Each child is given a copy of the book to take home after the classroom reading. The activities to go along with this book encourages families to re-read the story at home and then start a diary with their children.  This could be a made up of pictures, drawings, scribbles, etc. as long as the parent stays dedicated to entries in the diary.  We also encourage families to go outside after a rain and safely observe worms in their natural environment. WILL has also partnered with the U of I Pollinatarium to host a family night for this book. The children and their families will eat dinner, tour the Pollinatarium, and meet with a local scientist to learn more about insects and dirt.

If your child is not part of the Head Start program, they may enjoy this book as well.  You can check it out at your local library or purchase a copy for them to keep at home. This book is appropriate for children in Pre-K through grade 5.

Once a month, we will highlight the Book Mentor Project book and activities for the month to keep our local community informed about our Book Mentor Project and engaging books and lessons we will offer. The WILL Book Mentor Project is a partnership with PNC Bank, Champaign County Head Start, and Illinois Public Media.