Ruby the Red Worm's Dirty Job Make-A-School Project. Pictured here are the student illustrators standing in the shape of a worm and the message, "We love worms.".
Students examine red worms and compost bin
Students investigate live red worms in a composting bin. The worms made good models for the art class and a lot of dirty hands.

Worms eat my garbage

Kitchen composting

Our Backyard Adventures are fun and easy mini-expeditions that you can do — you guessed it! — right in your own backyard. These activities are designed to help students and parents explore the world with eyes of wonder. Along the way, you might discover new areas of interest, new dreams and potential new careers.

Your adventure should you choose to accept it is…

Introduction: While working on our new book Ruby the Red Worm, students started composting in the classroom and at home. It was so much fun getting our hands dirty, I think everyone should try it. Composting is like recycling. Worms turn food scraps and newspaper into fertile dirt that you then can use to fertilize your garden or indoor plants.

ASSIGNMENT: Your adventure, should you choose to accept it, is to build your own compost bin at home. This is a great way to recycle your scraps and reduce your eco-footprint. It’s not too hard. To help you get started try reading one of my favorite books — Worms Eat My Garbage. Or you can do a little research online.

Students examining some red worms up close
Students examining some red worms up close. And in the background, hanging from the ceiling, are tiers of homemade composting bins made from 2-liter bottles. The top tiers are homes to some happy plants.

Here’s one of my favorite books for inspiration.

Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System
Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System

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More stories about the making of this book

How I make the aerial view photos look real, including using satellite views and chalking the drawing out square by square.
The ice cream social and book signing celebration for "Ruby the Red Worm" drew over a 1000 people. It was one of the most overwhelming, amazing and fulfilling moments of my life to see the dreams of so many students coming to life.
The new book, Ruby the Red Worm, is finally here! Perhaps no one is more surprised how beautiful it is then me, especially the cover!
Footprint in the sand

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