NIXA, Mo. – A Nixa school is trying to educate their second graders to use critical thinking by examining various worms.

Hannah Horgan is one of the teachers at the John Thomas School of Discovery trying to show her second graders how to use and apply critical thinking. Her class has been studying earthworms and redworms to see if they can begin a more scientific approach to the questions they had.

“We just looked at something they see every day in their garden, out on the playground, fishing with their parents, and we started asking questions about what are worms and how do they help our environment?” says Horgan.

The class began a list of questions such as, “Are worms smart?”, “How strong are they?” or “Can they swim?” Then the students create a plan to execute an experiment and a prediction of the outcome.

After the experiments conclude, students record all of their findings in a journal they will be using throughout the school year.

“At the end of the year, it’s an actual journal of their thinking and all of their own ideas,” says Horgan.