Teaching Suggestions
Welcome Spring! Earthworms and Robins Return


The arrival of the first robins is often closely tied to the appearance of the first earthworms.

Essential Question

How is robin migration related to the
return of earthworms in the spring?

The Annual Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly

Before Reading

1. Start with a Riddle
Share the following clues one at a time, encouraging students to identify the animal you are describing:
No eyes...No ears...Five hearts...No lungs...Takes in oxygen. After students share responses, reveal the answer: the earthworm!

2. Assess Prior Knowledge

  • When do you see earthworms in your backyard?
  • What signs help us predict when we'll see the first earthworm of spring?
  • How do you think the arrival of earthworms and the arrival of returning robins are related?

3. Make Predictions
Preview images in the photo gallery. Post the question: How is robin migration related to the return of earthworms in the spring? Have students share predictions and questions based on details they see in the photos.

After Reading

1. Observe and Wonder
Take students outside with notebooks and pencils. Invite them to sketch and describe what they see and wonder. Encourage them to look for signs that will help them predict the arrival of earthworms and robins.

2. Check Temperatures
Take your class outside to measure above-and-below-ground temperatures. Discuss the data based on facts learned from the slideshow.

3. Track Earthworm and Robin Spring Migration with Journey North
As robins spread throughout their breeding range, track the migration. Explore the maps to predict when and where robins will travel.

Extension Ideas
1. Research and Write
Challenge students to learn more about earthworms and robins. Start by brainstorming questions and collecting nonfiction books. As they read to learn, use an ABC chart to collect words for writing projects that describe their discoveries.

2. Make a Temperature Timeline
Record average temperatures on a wall-size line graph. Encourage students to draw sketches, write notes, or add digital photos to their graph to show signs of spring that appear as temperatures change. As a class, watch for timely connections between changing temperatures and the signs of spring. Once all the data is collected, invite students to summarize and share in a creative way.