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How to Eat Fried Worms is a funny book by Thomas Rockwell. The story has a fourth grade reading level but because of the humor, has an interest level of several grades on either side of fourth.
A boy accepts a bet that he can eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The agreement is that Billy can prepare the worms any way he wishes. His family goes along with this after checking with the doctor. His mother even cooks one of the worms for him. When it begins to look he will win the bet, the two boys he made the bet with try tricking him unsuccessfully and Billy does win his bet.
1. Which of the characters did you like best in the story? Why?
2. Do you think the bet was a fair one? Explain your answer.
3. Do you think it was fair of Alan and Joe to try and trick Billy into losing the bet? Explain your answer.
4. Which one of Billy's recipes did you think was the best? Which one was the yuckiest? Explain your answer.
5. First, list six things that you think you could never eat. Then pretend you are in a situation where you must eat four of the things you have listed above or suffer severe consequences. Create a recipe, with a name, that you think would be the best way to prepare each of the four things. – please remember this is supposed to be fun. Steer the child away from items that are truly disgusting and or frightening (such as inappropriate consequences for not eating the item).
6. Study worms. What purpose do they serve? Where are they on the food chain? How are they beneficial to farmers? Etc.
7. Build a compost bin and create a worm farm.
8. For a creative writing exercise, have the child(ren) write a sequel to How to Eat Fried Worms or make up their own worm recipe cookbook.