How to Eat Fried Worms Book Unit Ideas

Activities to do with the Novel How to Eat Fried Worms

In How to Eat Fried Worms, Billy makes a bet with his friend Alan that he can eat 15 worms, one each day, for fifteen days. Tom plans to be Billy’s second, or witness. Joe is going to be Alan’s second. Joe and Alan plan all sorts of schemes to win the bet. In one funny part of the story, Billy pretends that eating the worm has made him crazy. He goes around flapping his arms like a chicken. Students will love reading this hilarious book. 

How to Eat Fried Worms Activities

How to Eat Fried Worms Book Unit Samples

How to Eat Fried Worms Novel Study

This sample contains…

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2 
  • Constructed Response Question

Teaching Idea #1 ~ Pom-Pom Worms

Worm Craft

While reading How to Eat Fried Worms, students made worms from pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and wiggly eyes. Every year after I know the novels I plan to teach, I love browsing the pages of Oriental Trading to see what cute, easy projects they provide. Their craft kits are very reasonably priced. Here is a link if you would like to check out this company.

Teaching Idea #2 ~ Edible Worms Activity for How to Eat Fried Worms

How to Eat Fried Worms - Worm Tasting
Worm Tasting

Students loved this activity! First, we cut hot dogs into long thin strips. When they were cooked in the microwave, the hot dogs curled to resemble worms. Students sampled eating the “worms” with different condiments. As a follow-up activity, students created a bar graph with classroom favorites. 

Worm Tasting
Worm Tasting

Teaching Idea #3 ~ Eating Gummy Worms and Dirt Cake during your How to Eat Fried Worms Book Unit

How to Eat Fried Worms - Dirt Cakes
Dirt Cakes

Students love making dirt cups. First, make chocolate pudding. Purchasing pre-made pudding is an option in the classroom. Provide each student with a clear plastic cup. Students assemble the dirt cake by placing the pudding in the cup. A gummy worm or two are mixed in with the pudding. Chocolate cookie crumbles on top look like dirt. You can end with these three simple ingredients are add green-tinted coconut on top for grass. 

Dirt Cakes
Dirt Cakes

Teaching Idea #4 ~ Writing Activity for How to Eat Fried Worms

How to Eat Fried Worms - Worm Writing Activity
How to Eat Fried Worms - Worm Writing Activity

This idea is so easy and requires very little prep. Provide each student with a 9 by 11-inch piece of red construction paper. Have the students cut out an apple shape from the red piece of paper making it as large as possible on the page? If your students have trouble with this, cutting out a cardboard pattern is another option. Students also cut out two leaf shapes and a stem from green and brown construction paper. Most students can cut out shapes to form the leaves and stem without a pattern. The apple is assembled by gluing the leaves and stem to the back of the red apple.

For our writing project, students wrote a rough draft summarizing the story. They rewrote the summary on a new piece of paper and glued it onto the apple.

To make the worm, students were given pom-poms in varying sizes. Glue the pom-poms in order from largest to smallest. Add wiggly eyes to the largest pom-pom for the head.

These look great on a bulletin board.

Teaching Idea #5 ~ Worm Facts


1. Migration

Worms have not always lived in America. Many scientists believe that worms living in America were killed during the Ice Age. This was approximately 10,000 to 50,000 years ago. During the 1600s and 1700s, Europeans brought worms to North America as they were forming the colonies. This was quite by accident. Colonists wanted to bring plants from their native countries to the New World. The worms were living in the dirt that surrounded the plants. Just think, if worms had not been brought to the New World, American soil would be very poor.

2. Harmful?

Some people think worms are bad for the garden. They have seen damage created by pests. Cockroaches, termites, beetles, and silverfish love to eat paper and the binding of books. Malaria is spread to thousands of people each year through mosquito bites. Fleas carry bacteria that can cause humans to get sick when bitten. It’s no wonder that people think earthworms are harmful as well.

3. Size

Earthworms vary greatly in size. Some are only an inch long while others are many feet long. The Australian giant earthworms average about ten feet in length. The largest earthworm ever found measured 22 feet from anterior to posterior. In North America, the largest common nightcrawlers are only about 12 inches.

4. Behavior

Some earthworms receive their names based on their behavior. The nightcrawler comes up to the surface at night. The angleworm is often used for bait by fishermen. The rain worm leaves the water-soaked soil after storms.

5. Breathing

Earthworms breathe through their skin.

6. Young

Baby worms hatch from eggs fully formed. They can live up to eight years although one to two years is the norm.

7. Food

Earthworms eat mostly leaves. Their digestive system is a tube that runs from their mouths to the rear portion of their bodies. Earthworms move nutrients such as potassium and nitrogen into the soil. In fact, some gardeners buy earthworms and place them in their gardens.

8. Benefits

While earthworms are extremely beneficial to farmlands, they can cause harm to northern forests. Northern forests have a cushion of decaying leaves called duff. This is beneficial to young trees and insects. When earthworms move through the duff, they eat it up leaving young saplings and insects without needed nutrients.

9. Movement

Hairs on each segment of the earthworm help it move through the soil.

10. Species

There are about 6,000 species of worms.


Platyhelminthes flatworms 
tapeworms flukes
Platyhelminthes have flat, ribbon, or leaf-shaped bodies with a pair of eyes at the front.







Nematoda is difficult to distinguish.

More than half are parasitic.




bristle worms

Annelida have bodies that are divided into segments or rings.


Sources of Worm Information:

  • The Adventures of Herman (link no longer active)

  • Earthworm Enchanted Learning (link no longer active)

  • Earthworm (site no longer active)

  • 10 Interesting Facts about Worms (site no longer active)

  • Worm 

  • Hookworm 

  • Earthworm Photo 

Teaching Idea #6 ~ How to Eat Fried Worms Animated Movie

See the product that inspired this post.

How to Eat Fried Worms Novel Study

How to Eat Fried Worms Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  

Gay Miller

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